MD Bill To Close Loophole On Part-time School Employees, Charged - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

MD Bill To Close Loophole On Part-time School Employees, Charged With Sex Crimes

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MARYLAND - Maryland lawmakers are looking to close a loophole, which currently allows part-time employees to have sexual relationships with students, without being charged with a crime.

"We take that very seriously, very aggressively," said Dr. John Frederickson, Superintendent of Wicomico County Schools.

Former Wi-Hi teacher Steven Kiggins is now behind bars, after pleading guilty last year to sex abuse of a minor.

Former football coach David Nettles faced two similar allegations, but on one he was acquitted, and on the most recent charge the judge declared a mistrial.

Senator Jim Mathias says there are others; however, who slip through the cracks.

"There was a case in Montgomery County where a full-time person with the school system, but a part-time coach at a school, was charged and those charges had to be dropped," he said.

It's a crime for full-time employees to have sex with students on or off school grounds. However, part-time employees like bus drivers, substitute teachers and coaches are not subject to the same law. Not to mention, the legal age of consent in Maryland is 16, which is why officials say change needs to happen now.

"I think it will make it better on the attorneys that want to go after someone on a criminal basis," said Dr. Frederickson.

"We're going to keep a very close eye. I think it's an important bill that is going to protect our students and give us comfort in our community," said Senator Mathias.

The proposal wouldn't apply to volunteer personnel, but lawmakers have said they would consider including that aspect too. The bill is up for review on March 12th.

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