JROTC instructor won't be tried again

After November mistrial, prosecutors will drop case against Moore

February 18, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

Pointing to a lack of evidence needed to get a conviction, Howard County State's Attorney Dario J. Broccolino said Friday that his office would not retry a former JROTC instructor accused of having sex with one of his students.

Broccolino also said "inconsistency in the testimony" of Charles Ray Moore's accuser factored into the decision not to move forward with a new trial, which was scheduled to begin Tuesday in Circuit Court.

A mistrial was declared in November when the jury deadlocked after about three hours of deliberations at the conclusion of the three-day trial.

Attorney Thomas Morrow said Friday that his 52-year-old client was "overwhelmed with emotion that the ordeal is finally over." Morrow said that Moore would speak to the media after the prosecutor's intent to drop the charges is formally entered before a judge Tuesday.

Moore, a former Army drill instructor, was accused of having sex with one of his students in the JROTC program at Atholton High School in Columbia. Handprints belonging to the then-17-year-old girl were found by police in a supply closet where she said she went with Moore to have sex last May. No trace of Moore's DNA was found in the closet, police said.

Moore denied having sex with the student, but was charged with having sex with a minor and fourth-degree sex offense after the girl told her mother and school officials that she had a relationship with Moore.

Morrow said that Moore, who has been suspended without pay by the county school system since his arrest, would like to return to his old job and possibly to his old school.

"His life is the Army, teaching in the JROTC program," Morrow said. "I think that but for this one incident, he has fond memories of Atholton."

Morrow said it will be up to the county schools superintendent to reinstate Moore, who could receive back pay dating to his suspension.

A spokeswoman for the school system couldn't be reached for comment.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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