Teacher gets jail in sex-abuse case

Band director prosecuted in 2 counties

May 16, 2007|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,sun reporter

Two weeks before facing sentencing in a Baltimore County sexual abuse case, a former Glen Burnie High School band director was ordered yesterday to spend 18 months in the Anne Arundel County jail for having sexual relations with a student.

Jeffrey S. Thompson, 38, of Severn apologized for the encounters in 2003 and 2004 at the school and a park, but denied sexual exploitation, saying he and the girl, starting when she was 16, had a relationship in which "my emotions took precedence over my common sense."

In a statement read to Judge Joseph P. Manck, the teenager said she has been ostracized by people loyal to Thompson since filing the charges against him; in March, he pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor.

Thompson "exploited my vulnerability, taking advantage of my naivete, faith in the goodness of people, and my blind trust of him. I made mistakes, but I was young and learning; it was his job to know better," she said. She said he ensured that her parents trusted him, later helping her lie to cover her whereabouts.

The Sun does not identify victims of sexual crimes.

Thompson is due to be sentenced May 31 in Baltimore County, where he has pleaded guilty to a second count of sexual abuse of a minor he molested at band camp in 2004 at Towson University after he gave her Gatorade mixed with vodka.

An agreement in Baltimore County allows for whatever sentence Thompson receives there to be concurrent with the one imposed yesterday.

Manck noted that he had a 2-inch stack of letters in support of Thompson. In court, former band parent Ron White called him a "man of impeccable character" who helped him deal with the death of his wife and son.

Thompson's lawyer, Thomas C. Morrow, sought no jail time or a delayed sentence, noting that but for the charges, as an Army National Guard sergeant, Thompson would have been deployed to Iraq as a diesel mechanic. He resigned from Anne Arundel schools in July and gave up his teaching certificate in March.

Manck imposed a six-year sentence, suspending all but the 18 months and three years of supervised probation.

"We as parents entrust our most precious possessions to the school system, and we expect that they are going to be safe," Manck told Thompson.


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