Teacher, 36, charged with sexual abuse of student

School system suspends Arundel High instructor

October 09, 2002|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

An Arundel High School teacher was arrested yesterday on charges that he fondled and engaged in other sexual contact with a 16-year-old male student in their homes and at school several times since July.

Lawrence Alan Mintline Jr., an English teacher and drama coach at Arundel High since 1992, was released after posting a $7,500 bond.

Mintline, 36, of Glen Burnie, was charged with two counts each of child abuse and fourth-degree sex offense, according to charging documents.

Mintline, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, could receive up to 32 years in jail if convicted of all charges. He was arrested at the Millersville offices of the Anne Arundel County school system, a school official said.

Mintline had been transferred there from his teaching job Thursday when a parent brought a complaint to school officials.

After the arrest, school system officials suspended him without pay and recommended that he be fired.

"It's obviously unfortunate and disturbing," said schools spokeswoman Jane Beckett-Donohue. "But in this case, the good news was it was reported and it was handled by [state] Child Protective Services and the police."

Beckett-Donohue said the school had no immediate plans to notify students of the arrest.

Investigators became aware of the alleged sexual contact while interviewing two other Arundel High students, who said they were "concerned for a friend of theirs," according to the documents.

The charging documents allege that the sexual conduct with the student occurred several times between July 1 and Oct. 1.

The first incident occurred in July in the student's home, where the teacher had gone to work on a summer project, according to the documents. The teen-ager's parents were not at home, the documents state.

On a second occasion, the student was invited to the teacher's home, where he was abused, the documents say.

The student also told investigators of being fondled on several occasions at school, according to the documents.

Mintline, whose teaching career in Anne Arundel County began in 1988, previously taught at Old Mill High and Chesapeake Middle schools.

Ben Seidenstein, a ninth-grade science teacher whose classroom is down the hall from Mintline's, said the English teacher was "nice" and popular with students.

Sun staff writers Andrea F. Siegel and Rona Kobell also contributed to this article.

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