The attorney for a Baltimore private school teacher has acknowledged that his client had sex with a former student, but says he is innocent of any crime because the contact was part of a consensual, adult relationship.
Foye C. Minton, 33, of Cockeysville, was charged with second-degree child abuse, police said, and is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on $250,000 bond.
A lawyer who has represented Minton in previous traffic cases released a statement on his behalf Tuesday that said he had no inappropriate contact with his accuser when she was a minor.
"Any sexual involvement with the alleged victim was consensual and occurred when she was over the age of eighteen and with her parents having full knowledge of the relationship throughout," said the statement issued by attorney Adam P. Frank. "Mr. Minton would ask that you withhold any judgment until all the facts are presented at trial."
Police said a victim, now 20, came forward in December alleging that the abuse started in 2009 when she was a student at Shoshana S. Cardin School in Baltimore. At the time, Minton was dean of students and director of athletics at the school and was the victim's coach and gym teacher, according to police. He was working at the Day School at Baltimore Hebrew at the time of his arrest.
Authorities believe there may be more victims, but have not connected them to either school. Frank said reports of additional victims are not true.
Police said the alleged sexual relationship took place between Jan. 17, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, and occurred at his home in Baltimore City, the school and other locations. The girl's age at the time of the alleged crimes has not been released.
Baltimore County police said adults "in a position of trust, authority or guardianship" are barred from having sex with minors, whether they consent or not.
"The victim told police that she tried to end the relationship as she got older, but that Minton repeatedly attempted to contact her after she tried to end it," police said in a statement.
Minton was arrested on Jan. 10 at the Day School, police said. Police did not have further information on his position or when he began working there. The court file is sealed.
Principals at Shoshana Cardin and the Day School, both private Jewish schools, sent letters to parents and faculty members after Minton's arrest last week that said Minton had gone through a full background check before being hired.
The Day School letter also said Minton had been placed on leave and the school had begun looking to "cover" his position.
"We are not aware of any incidents or complaints in connection with this teacher while teaching at the Day School," the letter said. It ended with "Please keep conversations regarding this to a minimum so as to protect the reputation of our school and the well-being of our students."
Gerri Chizeck, head of the Day School, said she was "not authorized to give any statements" about the case on Tuesday afternoon. She said no one else from the school would be commenting either.
David Prashker, head of school at Shoshana Cardin, said in an email that police informed the school of the arrest last week. "The school is cooperating fully with the police investigation and has no further comment at this time," he said.
Prashker added that the school was consulting with legal and communications advisers in light of "the most serious of charges."
"As I am sure you are aware, the school remains fully committed to ensuring the integrity of our community," Prashker wrote last week in the letter to the school community. "This is a very delicate and sensitive matter and we need to be respectful of the process."
Nancy Aiken, the executive director of the Counseling Helpline Aid Network for Abused Women, says the victim approached her organization for help before the police became involved. Aiken is familiar with the case and has spoken extensively with the victim and her family.
"This was a man who had a fair amount of power and prestige in his position as teacher and coach in a small school," Aiken said.
Aiken thought the letters from the two schools could have done more to encourage victims to speak about it openly.
"When this kind of issue stays in the realm of defensiveness and gossip, victims and survivors are not served," she said. "It creates more silence and separation between members of the community."
Police asked those with information to call 410-307-2020.