Principal charged with sexual assault

Balto. Co. administrator denies 2 ex-pupils' claims

December 14, 2004|By Laura Barnhardt and Sara Neufeld | Laura Barnhardt and Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

The principal of McCormick Elementary School in Rosedale has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting two pupils in the late 1970s while he was a teacher at Pine Grove Elementary School in Carney, Baltimore County police said yesterday.

Two sisters reported to police in late August and early September that they were assaulted at Pine Grove Elementary, according to charging documents filed in District Court in Towson. Kevin M. Lindsey, 50, of the first block of Glen Falls Path in Sparks, was charged with two counts of child abuse, two counts of second-degree sex offense and one count of third-degree sex offense, the records show.

Lindsey, who told police he taught at Pine Grove from 1976 until 1980 and has been employed by the county school system for 29 years, denied the allegations, the charging documents state.

His lawyer, Gerald C. Ruter, said Lindsey has been "falsely accused" and that he was confident that Lindsey would be exonerated.

Ruter said the allegation was "hatched" in the minds of troubled women.

District Court records showed no prior criminal record for Lindsey.

Lindsey was placed on paid administrative leave from his position - a routine procedure when teachers or administrators are accused of such crimes, said Charles A. Herndon, a spokesman for the county's public school system.

The school's PTA president, Angela Bittner, declined to comment.

One of the accusers, a woman who is now 35 years old, told police that she had recently recovered a "new memory" of a sexual assault when she was in fourth-grade at Pine Grove in 1979, according to the court papers. She told police she had been sexually assaulted by Lindsey, then a teacher, during the school day in an empty gym, according to the court documents. She told her husband that she had been abused, and he contacted police in August.

Her sister, now 34, told police in September that Lindsey assaulted her in a school bathroom when she was in his second-grade class at Pine Grove in 1977, according to the charging documents. She said that she had been in therapy because "she knew something had happened but never knew what it was" and that she had been praying when the "memory came to her," the court papers show.

The Sun does not identify victims of alleged sexual abuse.

Lindsey was interviewed twice by detectives, once in October and again Saturday, when he was arrested and charged, according to charging documents.

Lindsey was released later Saturday on a $55,000 bond, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman. A Jan. 7 preliminary hearing has been scheduled.

By yesterday morning, Lindsey's name had been taken off McCormick Elementary's Web site and replaced with the name of an acting principal, Nellie M. Slater, who had been the assistant principal.

Herndon said a letter is expected to be sent home today to parents of McCormick's 480 pupils in pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade, and counselors will be at the school today to talk to children with concerns.

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