A volunteer at a Timonium church has been charged with sexually abusing a girl there, and Baltimore County police say he has held a string of other positions working with children.
Terrence Shondry Smalls, 26, of Cockeysville is accused of abusing a 4-year-old girl during a Sunday morning Mass on Nov. 27 when he was volunteering at the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity day care, police said Friday.
Smalls had also served as a Girl Scout volunteer, a classroom assistant at Pot Spring Elementary and as a baby sitter, among other positions, authorities said.
"We always take a look to see if there might be other victims," said Cpl. John Wachter, a police spokesman. "What makes it more troubling in this case is the amount of activity that he had that involved children."
Smalls faces charges including sexual abuse of a minor. He was released Friday on $75,000 bail, online court records show. Smalls could not be reached for comment and did not have an attorney listed in court records.
Officials with Baltimore County public schools and the Archdiocese of Baltimore said Smalls had passed their background checks. He did not have a previous criminal record in Maryland.
According to police, he has advertised baby-sitting services for children under age 6 on the website Sitter.com.
He was recently working as a classroom assistant for special-education students at Pot Spring Elementary, and previously worked at that school's before- and after-school programs, authorities said.
Between July and October of this year, Smalls worked at the Little Gym in Hunt Valley, police said. In addition, between 2011 and 2015, he volunteered with Girl Scouts that met at Pot Spring and Epworth United Methodist Church.
Smalls has no children of his own, Wachter said.
In a statement, the Archdiocese of Baltimore said it immediately reported the allegations Nov. 27 and that church officials are cooperating with investigators.
With the permission of police, the church informed parishioners by email on Dec. 2 that a volunteer was under investigation for suspected sexual abuse and asked anyone with information to contact police, archdiocese officials said.
Smalls had volunteered at the church since 2010, the archdiocese said. In 2010 and in 2015, he passed the required background checks and completed training on protecting children from abuse.
In documents filed in District Court in Towson, police wrote that the girl told her mother the abuse happened Nov. 27 when Smalls took her to a bathroom in the day care room.
Police were dispatched to the church and began an investigation, the documents say. The girl later met with a forensic interviewer.
According to the documents, Smalls told police he took the girl into the bathroom but "denied any wrongdoing."
Mychael Dickerson, a spokesman for county schools, said in an email to The Baltimore Sun that when Smalls was hired in 2013, he underwent county, state and federal background checks, including fingerprinting and a sex-offender registry check.
Smalls worked as an assistant under the supervision of special-eduction teachers, he said.
After learning of the church allegation from police, school administrators "took the necessary personnel disciplinary action" and Smalls no longer works for the school system, Dickerson said.
In a statement, the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland said they were saddened to hear of the allegations. The organization said they had never received a complaint about Smalls.
The Little Gym also issued a statement, saying Smalls passed a background check before starting there as a part-time employee in July. The company said Smalls spent three months training with the staff and "was never alone with any children." After that, he worked one shift.
Anyone with information may call police at 410-307-2020.