Ex-teacher pleads guilty to child abuse in Arundel

High school drama coach molested male student, 16

February 12, 2003|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

A former high school English teacher and drama coach pleaded guilty in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court yesterday to one count of child abuse involving one of his students at Arundel Senior High School last year.

Lawrence Alan Mintline Jr., 36, who quit his job last month as the school system was about to begin disciplinary proceedings, was accused in a four-count indictment of child abuse and misdemeanor assault of a 16-year-old boy.

Yesterday, he admitted to molesting the student at his apartment, at school and at the youth's home. The maximum possible sentence is 15 years in prison.

Assistant State's Attorney Sandra Foy Howell said that at Mintline's April 9 sentencing, she will seek a term within state guidelines, expected to be between probation and two years in prison.

Mintline will have to register with the state as a child sex offender, Howell said.

"It was a negotiated plea that I thought was a good way to proceed because the defendant could be held responsible for the actions he had committed, and without additional trauma to the victim," Howell said.

The student and his family agreed, she said. They did not attend yesterday's hearing, and the student's father later declined to discuss the matter. The Sun does not publish the names of victims of sexual abuse.

Mintline, of Glen Burnie, and his lawyer, Thomas C. Morrow, declined to comment after the brief court session.

The allegations last year involving the popular teacher and drama coach occurred at a time when the drama group was recovering from an earlier scandal. Mintline took over the club in 1996 from a coach who had pleaded guilty to receiving child pornography over the Internet.

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