Teacher charged with sex abuse of teen

April 10, 2006|By MATTHEW DOLAN | MATTHEW DOLAN,SUN REPORTER

An Eastern Shore middle school teacher is scheduled to appear in court this morning on charges alleging he had a two-year sexual relationship with a girl who is now 14, police said.

Christopher Larry Tribbitt, 26, of the 1700 block of Blue Heron Drive in Denton was arrested Saturday morning while on the Internet chatting with an undercover officer, who was posing as the teen.

Police said the investigation started this month when a school resource officer at Queen Anne's County High School learned about allegations of an inappropriate relationship between a female pupil and a physical education teacher at Centreville Middle School. Authorities said the abuse began when the victim was 12.

The county Sheriff's Office investigated, eventually observing Internet chats between the girl and the teacher with the consent of the child's parents.

On Saturday morning, members of the county Sheriff's Office and Denton Police Department served a warrant to search Tribbitt's home and arrested the teacher.

Tribbitt was being held at the County Detention Center on a $1 million bond. He has been charged with sex abuse of a minor, custodian child abuse, third-degree and fourth-degree sex offense, and second-degree assault.

Authorities said their investigation was continuing. School officials have been briefed in order to review Tribbitt's employment status.

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