Former Glen Burnie teacher admits to child porn charges

15-year veteran with Anne Arundel schools had more than 700 child porn items on personal computer

July 25, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A former Anne Arundel County physical education teacher pleaded guilty Monday to child pornography charges but will not serve any jail time.

Gregory Christy, 39, who most recently taught at Rippling Woods Elementary School in Glen Burnie, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing child pornography. Under the plea agreement, he must forfeit his teaching license and register as a sex offender for 15 years.

Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul A. Hackner also placed Christy on five years' probation and suspended an 18-month jail sentence.

"I'm convinced that Mr. Christy has essentially ruined his life," Hackner said, agreeing with a defense request not to jail the teacher because the charges had already cost Christy his career and will be a substantial hurdle to future employment. He said Christy would be "branded a sex offender" on the state's registry.

Prosecutors had sought an unspecified amount of jail time. Sentencing guidelines called for probation to two years in jail.

In a court hearing Monday, Christy apologized for his actions.

Deputy State's Attorney Thomas J. Fleckenstein said several hundred thousand pornographic images were found on Christy's personal computers. Of them, 562 still photos and 143 videos showed children, he said. No local minors were depicted, according to police.

Christy had been a physical-education teacher since 1996, said public schools spokeswoman Maneka Monk. He began his careerat Old Mill Middle South then moved to Chesapeake Bay Middle in 1997 and worked there until 2002. He took a year off, and starting in 2004, taught at J. Albert Adams Academy, an alternative middle school. In fall 2008, he moved to Rippling Woods.

His roommate at a home in the northeastern corner of Anne Arundel County turned him in in April 2010, telling police that Christy bragged about his pornography collection.

School system officials prevented him from working with children when the investigation began, and he was suspended with pay once he was charged in January, according to the school system. Before the school year ended, he was no longer being paid, Monk said.

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