Porn ruled inadmissible in teacher's sex abuse case

The Baltimore Sun

A Howard County judge ruled yesterday that pornographic images seized from the home of a former teacher accused of sexually abusing three students cannot be presented at trial.

Alan Meade Beier, 53, a former chemistry and physics teacher at River Hill High School in Clarksville, was arrested in January 2007 after being accused of undressing and photographing a 16-year-old boy in a classroom.

Howard County prosecutor Mary Murphy argued in a pretrial motions hearing yesterday that the pornographic photographs found in Beier's home included adults in poses similar to those in the photos of the 16-year-old boy that were found on Beier's school computer, showing that Beier's intent in taking the photos was for nothing more than his own benefit.

According to charging documents, after school on Jan. 8, 2007, Beier took nude photographs of the victim, who used a pingpong paddle to cover his genitals, as well as photos of the victim's nude backside.

Beier's attorney, Joshua R. Treem, argued that the adult pornography was legal and does not help establish exploitation of the minor. Circuit Court Judge Diane O. Leasure ruled that showing the legal pornography to a jury would be too prejudicial and could not be included as evidence at Beier's trial, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Beier, who is charged with four counts of sexual abuse of minors, three counts of fourth-degree sex offense and four counts of second-degree assault, is also accused of fondling a 17-year-old female student on two occasions and sexual misconduct with a third student.

He was one of three Howard County teachers arrested during the 2006-2007 school year for having inappropriate sexual contact with students.

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