Cheltenham guard is charged with sexual assault

April 12, 2002|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 44-year-old guard at the Cheltenham Youth Facility in Prince George's County has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy in her care, authorities said yesterday.

Carolyn Diane Cooley of Clinton was suspended Monday by the Department of Juvenile Justice after the teen reported he had a weeks-long relationship with her, according to Lee Towers, a spokesman for the agency. The department runs the Cheltenham facility.

Maryland State Police arrested Cooley on Tuesday, according to Sgt. Michael Dornberger of the Forestville barracks.

Cooley was charged with child abuse by a custodian, a third-degree sex offense, a fourth-degree sex offense and with a correctional employee having sex with a juvenile, according to the charging documents. Together, the charges carry a possible sentence of 43 years.

Cheltenham housed 206 teens Monday, the juvenile justice spokesman said. The teen who was reportedly abused was not a delinquent but was among 26 teens being housed in shelter-care, a special unit for juveniles who cannot stay with a family member, most often because their home is unstable.

On Monday, the teen broke Cooley's car window while it was parked at Cheltenham, Towers said. When the teen was confronted, he said he was angry because of a spat with the guard.

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