LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC)– Maryland lawmakers are working to close a legal loophole that police say allowed a high school coach accused of having a sexual relationship with a student athlete go uncharged.
Maryland’s House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday discussed House Bill 31, which would remove the exemption that allows part-time school employees to engage in sexual relationships with students at or above the state’s age of consent — 16. Currently, only full-time employees such as teachers, administrators, and other staff members are prohibited from engaging in such relationships.
A conversation about changing the law began last year, when fourth degree sex offense charges against a Montgomery County high school coach were dropped after the technicality was discovered. The man maintained his innocence in the case.
Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger worked with Montgomery County Delegate Sam Arora to craft a bill that would forbid part-time and contracted employees from having sexual relationships with students. The legislation may be amended to include school volunteers, as well. The measure has not been voted on, but it is not expected to face much opposition.