Acting on new allegations, a Howard County grand jury indicted a science teacher on sexual misconduct charges involving a third student at River Hill High School, the state's attorney's office said yesterday.
Alan Meade Beier, a 52-year-old chemistry and physics teacher at the Clarksville school, was charged by the grand jury with sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault involving a boy younger than 18.
The charges come a month after Beier was arrested and charged with sexual misconduct in separate incidents involving two other students.
The new charges stem from an April 2006 incident involving a student at the school. Because the most recent charges are part of a grand jury indictment, details of the case have not been made public, according to T. Wayne Kirwan, spokesman for the Howard County state's attorney's office. The grand jury acted Wednesday, he said.
Based on the charges involving the two other students that led to his arrest Jan. 12, the grand jury also indicted Beier on three counts of sexual abuse of minors, three counts of fourth-degree sex offenses and three counts of second-degree assault.
Beier, who was chosen River Hill's 2001 Teacher of the Year by the senior class, is accused of undressing and photographing a 16-year-old boy in his classroom in January. Police also said he fondled a 17-year-old female student on two occasions, most recently in the fall.
Kirwan said prosecutors were precluded from discussing the charges against Beier before his trial.
Kirwan said he could not discuss the latest charges against Beier, including whether the most recent accusations were made by a current River Hill student.
In a separate case involving students, another Howard County teacher, Joseph Samuel Ellis, 25, was indicted on the charges of sexual abuse of a minor, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense, indecent exposure, display of obscene material to a minor and telephone misuse. Ellis taught history and American government at Glenelg High School.
Ellis is accused of exposing himself to one student, persuading a second to meet him at a park with the promise of alcohol and sending a third suggestive computer messages.
Beier and Ellis, who are both free on bond, have been ordered not to have contact with any of their accusers and to inform the court of any changes in their address. They are also prohibited from leaving the state without approval of the court. Court appearances for both men have not been scheduled.
Neither man returned messages seeking comment on his case.
Beier and Ellis, who were arrested within a week of each other, remain on paid administrative leave by the Howard County Public School System, according to spokeswoman Patti Caplan.
It is unlikely that additional charges will be filed against Beier or Ellis, according to Howard County Police Department spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn.
"If [the grand jury] charged him with the third person, they would have charged him with any additional cases" at the same time, she said.
Llewellyn said it is difficult to predict whether publicity would prompt additional accusers to come forward.