Crime Watch

CRIME WATCH

April 19, 2006|By LIZ F. KAY

Schools official pleads guilty to solicitation

An administrator of Baltimore County school magnet programs has pleaded guilty in a Pennsylvania court to sending sexual messages in an Internet chat room to someone he believed was a 13-year-old girl, authorities said yesterday.

David Sean Lukes, 34, of Stewartstown, Pa., pleaded guilty last week in the Court of Common Pleas in York County, Pa., to attempted unlawful contact with a minor, attempted corruption of a minor and solicitation to commit indecent assault, said Senior Deputy Prosecutor Kelley Brewer.

As part of a plea agreement, Lukes will serve five years' probation. He also had to surrender his professional teaching certification and forfeit a computer that was seized during the investigation. He is forbidden to have unsupervised contact with children other than his own, Brewer said.

Neither Lukes nor his lawyer returned calls yesterday.

Court documents show someone using an account that was later linked to Lukes contacted a computer user in a Yahoo chat room Aug. 10 and asked, "Like older guys?" The computer user - an undercover detective - said she was 13. Lukes then led the conversation in a sexual direction, according to the criminal complaint.

Charles A. Herndon, a county school system spokesman, said in a statement that the system has not received verification of the court disposition.

"As soon as we can obtain that verification, then appropriate personnel actions will be taken," he said. Herndon would not elaborate.

Lukes was charged in October and was released to await trial, court documents show. A spokesman for the school system declined to speak specifically about Lukes at the time, noting that it was a personnel matter. But the spokesman said staff members facing charges of this nature are reassigned to a job where they would not come into contact with children until their cases are adjudicated.

Lukes was listed yesterday as a supervisor of magnet programs on the school system's Web site. According to school system records, he was a Baltimore County teacher from 1993 to 2002 when he was appointed supervisor in the Gifted Education/Magnet programs office.

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