Teacher accused of soliciting sex from teen

March 21, 2009|By Jonathan Pitts | Jonathan Pitts,jonathan.pitts@baltsun.com

A Harford County middle school teacher was arrested yesterday, accused of using the Internet to solicit sex from a 15-year-old boy, state police said.

Officers from the state police computer crimes unit charged Jonathan S. Dick, 43, of Bel Air, a physical education teacher at Fallston Middle School, with two counts of solicitation of a minor.

Police said they began an investigation of Dick, who is also a boys lacrosse coach at Fallston High School, in February after receiving complaints from the parents of a Prince George's County boy. The parents discovered "disturbing sexual text messages" between the boy and Dick, according to a police statement.

The solicitation began on a social networking Web site, police said, and took place over a series of weeks. Investigators said they traced the account information to Dick.

Dick was placed on paid administrative leave yesterday, said Teri Kranefield, a Harford County public schools spokeswoman. He has been employed by Harford schools since October 1999, she said.

Police said they searched Dick's home early yesterday and seized two computers, documents and pictures related to the investigation. The computers will be sent to the state police computer forensics lab for examination.

Because the case involves a teacher, police coordinated efforts with the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, Harford County public schools and the county state's attorney's office

If convicted, Dick could face up to 10 years in prison and $50,000 in fines, police said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Harford County Child Advocacy Center at 410-638-3294.

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