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Former teacher accused anew

The Baltimore Sun

A second student has accused a former Howard County high school special-education teacher of inappropriate sexual conduct, officials said yesterday.

A grand jury indicted Kirsten Ann Kinley, 27, of Columbia on three counts of third-degree sex offense involving a 14-year-old boy. The indictment was handed up Wednesday, the same day that the Howard County Board of Education terminated Kinley's employment at Marriotts Ridge High School.

In court documents released yesterday, the boy told police that he had contacted Kinley after hearing from a friend that she was having sex with male students.

Kinley was arrested in February on similar charges involving a 15-year-old boy. In each case, the alleged incidents took place more than two years ago, and did not involve students at Kinley's school. She was teaching at Hammond Middle School in Laurel at the time.

With her February arrest, Kinley became the third Howard County high school teacher to be charged with having inappropriate sexual contact with a minor this year.

"Kirsten is no longer employed by the school system as of [Wednesday]," spokeswoman Patti Caplan said yesterday. "The board took action ... based on the superintendent's recommendation."

Kinley had been a special-education teacher in the Howard school system since 2002, and she had worked at Marriotts Ridge High School since it opened in 2005. At the school, she was the adviser to the sophomore class and to a competitive dance group that performs during football and basketball halftime shows.

She remains free on $75,000 bond and has been ordered not to have any contact with her accusers. She was given permission several months ago to live with a relative in Alexandria, Va. While there, she must report to Howard County pretrial supervision officials.

Kinley could not be reached for comment yesterday. Her cellular phone number has been disconnected.

Kinley was first arrested in February after a boy divulged the alleged encounters to his therapist, who was legally required to tell authorities.

The details of the latest allegations mirror the earlier ones. Prosecutors allege that in both cases Kinley and her accuser were introduced through a teenage friend, exchanged sexually explicit conversations on the Internet, and had two sexual encounters at her Columbia apartment.

Authorities learned about her latest accuser while investigating the earlier allegations.

Her most recent accuser said he began to communicate with Kinley through instant messaging, or IM, in late 2004, according to court documents. After the boy obtained her IM screen name from a friend, Kinley is alleged to have sent him naked pictures of herself. The boy said he did not save the images.

The two had sex for the first time shortly before his 15th birthday and again two weeks after his birthday, according to court documents.

Although court documents state that investigators were told names of several possible victims, T. Wayne Kirwan, spokesman for the Howard County state's attorney's office, said yesterday no other victims have been identified.

In the other incidents involving Howard teachers, Samuel Ellis, 25, a history and government teacher at Glenelg High School, was accused of exposing himself to one female student in a classroom, sending suggestive computer messages to another and persuading a third to meet him at a park with the promise of alcohol. Alan Meade Beier, 52, a chemistry and physics teacher at River Hill High School, was accused of undressing and photographing a 16-year-old boy in his classroom and with fondling a 17-year-old female student.

Ellis was fired by the school system last month. Beier remains on unpaid leave from the school system.

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