Balto. Co. officer accused of sexually abusing boy

Suspect was assigned to middle school of alleged victim, 13

July 28, 2005|By Ben Pillow | Ben Pillow,Baltimoresun.com Staff

Baltimore County authorities today announced the arrest of a 27-year-old policeman accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old male student at Dundalk Middle School, where the suspect was a resource officer.

According to police, Officer James Mark Blankenship faces three felony counts and one misdemeanor charge after the boy told investigators that what started as a friendship between April and May escalated to sexual contact this spring.

Authorities said Blankenship denies the allegations. He has been charged with sex offense in the second degree, sex offense in the third degree, sex abuse involving a minor and perverted practice.

Blankenship turned himself in voluntarily this afternoon and has been suspended without pay. Bail was set at $30,000 during a hearing today before a court commissioner, police said.

Investigators are seeking to determine if there are other victims or witnesses in the case. Baltimore County police urge anyone with more information to call its family crimes unit at 410-853-3650.

July 28, 2005, 5:30 PM EDT

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