CRIME

Scott Spear, Montgomery County high school coach accused of teen sex abuse, speaks out

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A Montgomery County teacher and coach suspended after accusations of sex with a 16-year old tells ABC7 he wants his job back now that charges have been dropped.

Scott Spear (Photo: Montgomery County Police)

Scott Spear, 47,  was arrested in early February and charged with two counts of committing a fourth degree sex offense.

At the time police accused Spear of having sex two straight nights last spring with a girl he'd coached on Richard Montgomery High's cross country team.

Those charges were dropped last week, and now Spear says he wants his full-time job as a teacher at Julius West Middle School back, as well as his part-time jobs as coach of Richard Montgomery's cross country and boys basketball teams.

"This is my community. I've lived here my whole life, and this is what I do. I don't want to do anything else," Spear told ABC7.

"I miss so much the kids I teach at Julius West. I really miss my basketball players. When something like this happens you just wonder if you can ever, ever get your life back."

Spear's attorney Steven VanGrack says he and Spear will ask Montgomery County Public Schools to let Spear come back now that charges have been dropped. Spear has been suspended since his arrest.

VanGrack said Spear was willing to take a polygraph test about the accusations, but he didn't want Spear to answer ABC7's question about whether he'd ever actually had sex with the then 16-year old girl, who police say he'd taught at Julius West Middle before coaching her at Richard Montgomery.

VanGrack says the reason is twofold: because he and Spear have never seen the specifics of the accusations against him to be able to answer them, and because any answer Spear gives could potentially cause trouble for him if prosecutors decide to refile charges.

"Once the statute of limitations has run on this, he can say whatever he wants," VanGrack said. "But I'm not going to let him say anything until the statute of limitations is run."

VanGrack says the statute of limitations ends in June of next year.

But VanGrack says no matter what, Spear committed no crime.

"Even if every allegation that was made in the statement of charges could have been proved -- even if that was the case -- no crime was ever committed."

Surprisingly, prosecutors agree with that statement.

They say as shocking as it may sound, it's not illegal in Maryland for a part-time employee of a school to have sex with a student 16 or older. Sixteen is the age of consent in Maryland.

"The person has to be a full-time teacher or some kind of full-time employee of the school, and that was just not the case here," said deputy state's attorney Tom Fleckenstein of Anne Arundel County (Anne Arundel handled the prosecution because the Montgomery state's attorney's office felt it had a conflict of interest in the case).

Fleckenstein says the case was not dropped due to lack of evidence, and he says this isn't the first time such an issue has come up.

Fleckenstein says although as a middle school teacher Spear is a full-time employee of the Montgomery County school system, as a coach he's only a part-time employee of Richard Montgomery High, and that's why charges had to be dropped.

He says his office has contacted members of the state legislature to ask them to get the law changed.

"We did find it shocking," he said of the law. "Frankly, absurd."

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