Former parochial school teacher sentenced for molesting pupils

August 27, 2002|By Allison Klein | Allison Klein,SUN STAFF

A 38-year-old Baltimore man was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday for sexually abusing three girls when he was a teacher at a Catholic elementary school in Hampden.

David Czajkowski, 38, pleaded guilty in May to three counts of child sexual abuse for fondling fourth- and fifth-grade pupils at St. Thomas Aquinas School between 1999 and 2001.

Baltimore Circuit Judge Clifton J. Gordy castigated Czajkowski as he sentenced him yesterday in a courtroom crowded with the former teacher's victims and their families. Czajkowski's family, including his wife, also was present.

"You are part of a very sick phenomenon in America today. We are turning on our children," Gordy told Czajkowski. "Our children are in grave danger, not from terrorists but from those we tell them to trust."

Prosecutors originally charged Czajkowski, a resident of the 3000 block of Bayonne Ave. in Hamilton, with 17 criminal counts, including sexual child abuse and assault by touching 11 girls at the school and at his house. Some of the girls said the teacher would write problems high on the blackboard so that he could lift them, touching their chests as he did so.

According to Assistant State's Attorney Adam Rosenberg, two of the girls went to Czajkowski's house to play in the snow in December 2000. After they were finished, Czajkowski told them to shower, then watched and helped them bathe.

Gordy sentenced Czajkowski to the maximum sentence - 15 years in prison - but because of a plea agreement, all but five years of the sentence were suspended. Czajkowski also must serve five years' probation.

Gordy told Czajkowski to enroll in a sexual offenders program in prison, and placed several conditions on the probation. They include giving a DNA sample, registering as a sex offender and not having solitary contact with a child under 18, unless the child is his son.

Czajkowski apologized in court to his pupils, their families and St. Thomas Aquinas School, saying he needs to get help because he has an illness.

"I truly am sorry for what I did. I know what I did was horribly wrong," he said. "I suffer from an illness. I look forward to rebuilding my life with my family."

The father of two of the victims, now ages 13 and 11, said after the hearing that he was not satisfied with the sentence.

"That man is a terrorist. He terrorizes children," said the White Marsh man, whom The Sun is not identifying to protect the privacy of his daughters. "If we don't put these people away, what's going to happen?"

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