More abuse claims are made

Parents make allegations after teacher is charged

March 06, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

Authorities are looking into additional allegations against a now-fired Catholic school teacher in Hampden charged Thursday with sexually assaulting a 9-year-old girl.

Parents at St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary have been coming forward since the school sent letters home last week informing them that former fourth-grade teacher David A. Czajkowski was charged with abusing a student at the school, the city state's attorney's office and church officials said.

"We have had multiple people come forward and say there was some level of improper touching," said Raymond P. Kempisty, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore. "Multiple people have come forward and said they think their children may have been molested."

Officials would not say how many concerned parents have contacted them, but State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy said her office and police officials also have received "numerous" such calls.

Jessamy also said authorities have expanded their investigation to other schools where Czajkowski, 38, was a teacher, including the Shrine of the Sacred Heart School in Mount Washington, where he taught third grade from July 1995 to June 1998.

That school sent a letter to parents yesterday informing them of the charges against Czajkowki and asking if anyone has information about possible abuse.

Law enforcement officials said Czajkowski worked at St. Peter's Christian Day School on Belair Road in Baltimore County in 1999 and 2000.

Czajkowski, of the 3000 block of Bayonne Ave. in Hamilton, was arrested Thursday and charged with child abuse, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault. He was released from jail on $150,000 bail over the weekend, said his lawyer, Michael DeHaven.

Czajkowski is accused of putting his hand under the girl's shirt and rubbing her back and touching her chest through her shirt Feb. 12.

After interviewing witnesses at St. Thomas Aquinas, detectives interrogated Czajkowski, who acknowledged touching the girl, according to a charging document filed in District Court.

Czajkowski worked at the school from September 2000 until Feb. 19, when he was suspended. He was fired Monday, Kempisty said.

In an attempt to ease parents' anxiety, Jessamy's office sent letters yesterday to the 72 families of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at St. Thomas Aquinas who had Czajkowski as a teacher.

The letter explains how children are interviewed by the Baltimore Child Abuse Center when they are possible victims of sexual abuse, and how the police, state's attorney's office and other agencies work through the center to make the process as easy as possible.

"Parents don't know the protocol, and we want to calm their fears," Jessamy said. "This is done in a manner that is least intrusive to the child."

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