Teacher accused of sexual abuse

Band instructor, student at City College had relationship, police say

`Enormously well-respected'

April 11, 2002|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

A 48-year-old band instructor at one of Baltimore's top high schools was arrested and charged last night with having sexual relations with a then-16-year-old band member.

Alvin Theodore Wallace was arrested about 7:15 p.m. at City College, where he has been a faculty member for eight years, authorities said. He was charged with one count of felony sexual child abuse and was being held last night at Central Booking and Intake Center, awaiting a bail review hearing.

According to charging documents, Wallace engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year- old girl in the band between Nov. 1, 1998, and May 31, 1999.

The victim, now 20, told police that in September 1998 she confided in Wallace that she had been sexually abused as a young child. She said Wallace told her that she could talk to him "like a daughter could talk to her father," according to charging documents filed in District Court. The Sun does not publish the names of sexual abuse victims.

Soon after, Wallace begin asking her for hugs and kisses and, later, told her that he was in love with her, the documents said.

Wallace, of the 5000 block of Remmel Ave. in Northeast Baltimore, also allegedly told the student that he would help her get over her fear of being with men.

Wallace engaged in sexual intercourse with her at the school and at his home, according to charging documents. The woman told police that Wallace would send for her during school hours and they sometimes had sex in his office and the band room, the documents state.

After she had graduated, Wallace continued to call her, she said, but she told him that the relationship was over and she felt "taken advantage of," charging documents state.

On Saturday, the woman consented to having authorities tape a telephone conversation with Wallace in which she asked him if it was wrong for them to have had sexual relations. Wallace indicated in the conversation that it was wrong, the documents state.

During the same conversation, the woman said that she had trusted him as her teacher. Again, Wallace replied it was wrong, charging documents state.

School Principal Joseph M. Wilson said that it was inappropriate for him to comment on Wallace's arrest, but said the teacher is "enormously well-respected and beloved by students and staff."

"He is the reason why the band and instrumental music program have reached the level of excellence that they have and are in such demand," said Wilson, adding that about 200 of City's 1,265 students participate in the music programs.

Sun staff writer Liz Bowie contributed to this article.

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