Ex-teacher convicted of abuse released from Carroll jail

July 03, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A former substitute teacher convicted of having sexual contact with boys at Francis Scott Key High School was released from jail yesterday after serving just more than half of an 18-month sentence.

Kimberly L. Merson, 25, was ordered released yesterday by a Carroll County Circuit Court judge who said that the woman's behavior as a prisoner showed that her continued incarceration would be "a waste of resources."

"She has done everything she should have done while there," Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. said of Merson's time at the Carroll County Detention Center. He then suspended the balance of her sentence and placed her on probation.

Merson was released later in the day from the county detention center.

Merson, a Union Bridge resident, had been accused of numerous offenses involving 10 teen-age boys, including giving them alcohol and nude photographs of herself, and having sexual relations with some of them in cars and homes during the 2000-2001 school year.

She pleaded guilty July 26 to four counts of child sexual abuse by a custodian, a third-degree sex offense, and six counts of contributing to certain conditions of a child by providing alcohol to the youths.

She received a five-year sentence, with all but 18 months suspended, which she was ordered to serve at the detention center with work-release privileges. She was permitted to leave once a week to see her psychiatrist and for 2 1/2 hours every Sunday to attend Mass at an Eldersburg church.

Her court appearance yesterday was the continuation of a Jan. 29 hearing on a motion by defense attorney Richard D. Bennett to reduce her jail time to six months.

Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore opposed the reduction. None of the victims or their families was in court.

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