The Harford County Child Advocacy Center has filed child sexual abuse charges against a 62-year-old fourth-grade teacher at Harford Day School in Bel Air.
In a news release announcing the center's action, the Harford state's attorney's office said that Daniel E. Harner was taken into custody Wednesday and charged with four counts: child abuse, third-degree sex offense, fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. He is accused of fondling an 11-year-old male pupil at the school Monday, according to the state's attorney's office.
The court document alleges that "the act occurred in the classroom assigned to Mr. Harner."
It also states that a one-party consensual wiretap was placed on the home where the pupil lives.
"During the wiretap, significant and incriminating disclosures were made by Mr. Harner to the victim's mother confirming the minor victim's allegations," according to court documents.
Harner resides in the 1600 block of Kreitler Valley Road in Forest Hill. He did not return phone calls, and nobody answered the door at his home yesterday afternoon.
Joseph I. Cassilly, state's attorney for Harford County, said the purpose of the news release was to encourage anyone with information related to the case to come forward.
"The Harford Day School community was both shocked and saddened to hear of charges against teacher Dan Harner," Susan G. Harris, head of the school, said in a printed statement released yesterday. "The school was completely unaware of any allegation of wrongdoing until notified by the local police."
Harris continued: "We are cooperating with the authorities during the investigation of these charges. It is our hope that this will be resolved quickly so that the healing process can begin."
Cassilly said that it was his understanding that Harner had retired from teaching at another school before coming to Harford Day.
Sandy Conway, business manager at Harford Day, said that Harner has taught there for three years.
Asked where he taught previously, she responded: "That's all I can say. I know no more than what is in the [state's attorney's] press release."