A judge sentenced a former Howard County high school teacher yesterday to four years in prison for undressing a student and photographing him naked last year.
Alan Meade Beier was the last of the three Howard County teachers charged during the 2006-2007 school year with having sexual contact with students to face legal consequences.
Beier, who recently turned 54, was convicted in March of sexual abuse of a minor and second-degree assault. According to prosecutors, Beier took 41 photos of a 16-year-old student in his classroom after school at River Hill High School in Clarksville, where he taught science. In some of the photos, the student was naked.
During the trial, the teenager testified that Beier asked him to go back to school in the evening to earn community service hours. Beier asked him to model in photographs and help him fix the lighting on his camera, the teen said.
After taking several clothed pictures, Beier asked the boy to take off his pants and photographed him in a bathing suit. Beier later pulled down the boy's underwear and told him to cover his genitals with a table tennis paddle, the teen testified. Other photographs seized by police during a search of Beier's Columbia home showed the teen's nude backside, prosecutors said.
During yesterday's hearing, Circuit Judge Diane O. Leasure sentenced Beier to 10 years in prison with all but four suspended on the sex abuse conviction and five years with all but two suspended, to be served concurrently with the first sentence, on the assault conviction. She also sentenced Beier to five years of probation after his release and ordered that he must register as a child sex offender.
Leasure called the case "particularly disturbing" and Beier's actions "a result of extremely poor judgment."
"This is not a lapse-of-judgment case - this is a planned, criminal act," Howard County Deputy State's Attorney Mary Murphy told the judge. "He exploited this child in order to address his own needs and his own gratification."
The other two Howard County teachers accused of having sexual contact with students in 2006-2007 have been convicted and sentenced. Kirsten Ann Kinley pleaded guilty in August to having sex with a 15-year-old student at her apartment in 2004 and 2005. Joseph Ellis, a former Glenelg High School government and history teacher, convicted in January, was sentenced to five years in prison in April in another sexual abuse case.