Carroll schools ex-chief sentenced in assault, battery of girl in Virginia

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July 15, 2005|By Gina Davis | Gina Davis,SUN STAFF

Former Carroll County schools Superintendent William H. Hyde pleaded guilty yesterday to assault and battery and was sentenced to 12 months in a Virginia jail in a case involving the same girl he was convicted of sexually abusing in Maryland in 2003.

With credit for good behavior, the 64-year-old Hyde is expected to serve six months in the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail in James City County, Va., said Leslie Siman-Tov, the assistant commonwealth attorney who prosecuted the case.

Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge James H. Smith ordered Hyde to report to the jail by Aug. 1, Siman-Tov said. Hyde has been out on bond since his extradition to Virginia in late January.

In Virginia, Hyde had faced two felony counts of aggravated sexual battery and up to 40 years in prison. The same girl whom Hyde was convicted of raping and sexually abusing in Carroll County in the summer of 2002 also alleged that he abused her during a trip to Williamsburg, Va., in July 2002.

Siman-Tov said she was motivated by the victim's desire to avoid a prolonged trial, and in March she approached Hyde's defense attorney, James Broccoletti, to discuss a possible plea deal.

Broccoletti could not be reached yesterday for comment.

The prosecutor dropped one felony charge yesterday and reduced the other to misdemeanor assault and battery, which carried a maximum 12-month sentence.

The girl's father "had indicated they weren't looking for any long jail term for Hyde," she said. "They just wanted him to plead guilty and to serve some jail time."

She said that while she was disappointed that the case did not go to trial, she understood the family's need for closure.

"I'm glad it's a weight off them," she said. "The family sounds like they are in the healing process, and they were satisfied with what happened" with the Virginia case.

In January, Hyde was released from the Carroll County Detention Center after serving less than 12 months of an 18-month term for raping and sexually abusing an elementary-school-age girl from Westminster.

Hyde left the Carroll County school system more than four years ago while he was being investigated in connection with district mismanagement. He left Maryland and worked for two years as a superintendent of a small school district in Seeley Lake, Mont.

Hyde was charged in August 2002 with raping and sexually abusing the girl at her family's home during a 2 1/2 -week visit to Carroll County two months earlier. In January 2004, Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns sentenced Hyde to serve 18 months of a 15-year prison term and gave him five years of probation. He also ordered him to pay $4,455.60 in restitution and to cover the cost of future therapy for the girl.

The Sun is not disclosing many details of the cases to protect the girl's identity.

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