Pupil alleges abuse

Teacher accused of sex offense against girl, 13

December 05, 2006|By Nick Shields and Gina Davis | Nick Shields and Gina Davis,sun reporters

A former Baltimore County teacher has been charged with sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl, authorities said yesterday.

Timothy Nicholas Gounaris, a former teacher at Pine Grove Middle School in Carney who has taught this year at a Baltimore City school, was charged in the sexual abuse of a Pine Grove pupil late last year, police said.

Gounaris, 50, of the first block of Cardor Court in the Perry Hall area, has been charged with a second-degree sex offense and perverted practice, county police said.

Gounaris resigned from the county school system at the end of the last school year and taught this fall at Chinquapin Middle School in Baltimore, where he has been placed on paid administrative leave, officials said.

Concerns about Gounaris' relationship with the girl were first raised in January, according to police and the girl's mother, but the girl apparently did not accuse the teacher of abuse for several months. It was not clear yesterday whether the man was removed from his teaching responsibilities at Pine Grove Middle.

County school officials would not say yesterday whether they relayed information about the concerns to city school officials.

Vanessa Pyatt, a city school system spokeswoman, said Gounaris was hired Aug. 30 to teach eighth-grade at Chinquapin Middle School. She said the system performed a criminal background check on Gounaris, as it must do for every new hire, and no criminal history turned up.

Pyatt said system officials did not know about Baltimore County's investigation until Friday, when county police notified them. She said Gounaris is now on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the criminal charges.

The alleged victim's mother, filing on the girl's behalf, sought a restraining order against Gounaris in June, court records show.

According to charging documents, Gounaris sexually abused the 13-year-old during a two-week period in December 2005. Police said that the girl told them the abuse took place in the bedroom of the man's home.

The girl's mother said she met with school officials in January to discuss her concerns about her daughter's relationship with the teacher. Police said they were contacted about the matter that month.

When the girl accused the teacher of abuse in October, she told investigators that initially she "did not tell the truth because she was trying to protect him and did not want him to lose his job," court papers show.

Neither the girl nor her mother are being named because The Sun does not identify alleged sexual abuse victims.

Gounaris has been released on $50,000 bail, according to police.

Attempts to reach Gounaris for comment yesterday were unsuccessful.nicholas.shields@baltsun.com gina.davis@baltsun.com

Sun reporter Sara Neufeld contributed to this article.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.