Judge rules against ex-teacher charged in sexual abuse case

November 02, 2007|By Tyeesha Dixon

A judge has ruled that the contents of a cell phone and other items police obtained in the case of a former Howard County teacher charged with sexually abusing two students can be presented at his trial, scheduled to begin Jan. 7.

Howard County Circuit Judge Richard S. Bernhardt ruled Wednesday against a motion filed by Gerald Richman, an attorney representing Joseph S. Ellis, 25, the former Glenelg High School history teacher accused of sex crimes involving the female students last year.

Richman argued that search warrants used to obtain items and information from Ellis' home, cell phone and home computer included "cookie-cutter" language that was not sufficiently specific.

He said that because the warrants were obtained in a "reckless manner," the items should be not presented at trial.

Bernhardt also rejected Richman's argument that questionable language in the affidavit, even if removed, would unduly influence the judge.

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