A 52-year-old former Army officer who worked as a JROTC instructor at a Howard County high school will go on trial Monday in the sexual assault of a 17-year-old female student over a two-day period last May. Thomas Morrow, the attorney for Charles Ray Moore of Bowie, said that his client has proclaimed his innocence.
Jury selection at the Howard County Circuit Court was expected to begin Monday morning. According to Wayne Kirwan, a spokesman for the Howard County State's Attorney, an expanded jury pool was necessitated by the large amount of publicity generated by this case. As a result, opening arguments could be pushed back until this afternoon.
According to charging documents, Moore told the girl, a student at Atholton High School, to go with him into a supply closet, where he kissed and fondled her. The next day, the two returned to the closet and had sex that the girl said was consensual, police said. Police arrested Moore after the girl told her mother, who notified police.
Moore, who worked in the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps program at the Columbia high school for five years, was indicted by a grand jury and charged with fourth-degree sexual abuse of a minor and sexual abuse by a person in authority.
The girl told police that she had developed a personal relationship with Moore and sent text messages to his personal cell phone and instant messages to his Facebook account, police said. Moore told the teen not to tell anyone he used Facebook, police said. Moore is currently out on $7,500 bond.
Howard County Circuit Court Judge Timothy McCrone has allowed Morrow access to the student's high school disciplinary records, which the attorney hopes will help his client's case. With the courts closed Tuesday because of Election Day, the trial could last until Thursday, in part due to the large number of witnesses Morrow plans to call.