Ex-Carroll schools superintendent to be released today

THE BALTIMORE SUN

After serving less than 12 months of an 18-month term in the county jail for raping and sexually abusing an elementary school-age girl, former Carroll County schools Superintendent William H. Hyde will be released today. But he won't be a free man.

Officials from the York County, Va., Sheriff's Department said they plan to pursue a case against Hyde and want to take him into custody the moment he is released from the Carroll County Detention Center.

Virginia prosecutors said they will try the 63-year-old career educator on two felony counts of aggravated sexual battery. The same girl whom Hyde was convicted of raping and sexually abusing in Carroll County in the summer of 2002 has also alleged that he abused her during a trip to Williamsburg, Va., in July 2002.

In Virginia, an aggravated sexual battery conviction carries a sentence of one to 20 years.

"We want him," York County Sheriff's Capt. James Richardson said. "We've always wanted him."

Richardson said his office has faxed the warrants twice for Hyde's arrest - once when he was convicted, a second time when they heard he was going to be released - but Carroll officials refused to serve them until Hyde is released. Richardson said he was told to send the warrants this morning.

Fugitive from justice

Richardson said Hyde will be considered a fugitive from justice when he is served with the warrants.

Carroll County Warden George Hardinger said Hyde will remain in custody today and will be taken to a District Court commissioner, who will set bail. Hyde will likely appear before a Carroll District Court judge tomorrow morning for a bail review hearing and to initiate extradition proceedings.

If Hyde chooses to waive extradition to Virginia, authorities there have 10 days to pick him up.

If he chooses to fight extradition, he could ask to be released on an appeal bond. If the District Court judge approves it, Hyde could remain free until an extradition ruling is made, officials said.

In most cases, Hardinger said, the courts require such defendants to be held in custody without bail during extradition proceedings.

Good conduct in jail

Hardinger said Hyde shaved six months from his 18-month sentence through good conduct. Hyde was a housing unit trustee and conducted one-on-one tutoring sessions with other inmates in reading and anger management.

Hyde was kept in a separate housing unit from the general prison population for his safety, Hardinger said.

Hyde left the Carroll school system more than four years ago while he was being investigated in connection with school district mismanagement. He left Maryland and worked for two years as superintendent of a small school district in a Montana lumber town.

Hyde was charged in August 2002 with raping and sexually abusing the girl at her family's home during a 2 1/2 -week visit to Carroll County two months earlier.

The Sun is not disclosing many details of the case to protect the girl's identity.

Letter of apology

Hyde wrote a letter of apology to the girl in which he said he was sorry for touching her genital area. But during his August 2003 trial testimony, he said investigators and the victim's mother had bullied him into apologizing for something he did not do.

After the eight-day trial, county Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr. found Hyde guilty on six charges: second-degree rape, two counts of sexual child abuse, third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault.

In January 2004, Burns sentenced Hyde to serve 18 months of a 15-year prison term. Burns also gave him five years of probation and ordered him to pay $4,455.60 in restitution and to cover the cost of future therapy for the girl.

25 years sought

Carroll prosecutor Tracy A. Gilmore and the victim's parents had requested a sentence of 25 years of imprisonment.

The morning of Hyde's sentencing, Virginia authorities filed arrest warrants in connection with the allegations of sexual abuse in York County.

Testimony during the trial revealed that authorities in Virginia interviewed the girl about sexual abuse that the girl said occurred in Williamsburg.

The lead investigator in the Carroll case, Ruth Ann Arty, testified that the girl told her that what happened at her family's home also occurred in Williamsburg.

Sun staff writer Gina Davis contributed to this article.

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