Former City College staffer pleads not guilty to sex abuse charges

Case will go to trial in December

August 19, 2010|By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

A former City College staff member arrested last month pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges that he sexually assaulted a 17-year-old student.

Ryan M. Coleman, 34, of New Northwood in Baltimore is charged with sexual abuse of a minor, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault of a City College student on the school grounds, according to charging documents filed in Baltimore Circuit Court.

Coleman, who is described in court documents as a hall monitor and a "dean of discipline," is accused of taking the student into his office, where he would "rub her back and side, ask her if she had a boyfriend and if she liked older men and was sexually active," according to charging documents. The interactions were said to have occurred between December and March.

Coleman's attorney, Howard Cardin, said in an interview Thursday that his client denies the allegations. Coleman was arrested July 8 and was released on $10,000 bail.

"We believe that we can show that she is not to believed and that Ryan is to be believed," Cardin said. "Our preliminary investigation gives me reason to believe that we have corroborative evidence that she is not a credible person."

According to alumni association records, Coleman graduated from City College in 1993 and was the president of the Baltimore City College Alumni Association in 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the City Council in 2007 to represent District 4.

The Baltimore state's attorney's office declined to comment on Coleman's plea. Assistant State's Attorney Katherine Smeltzer of the Sex Offense Division is prosecuting the case, said spokeswoman Marty Burns.

"We're prohibited from commenting on any pending criminal case," Burns said.

A trial date was set for Dec. 2.

Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.

erica.green@baltsun.com

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