MARYLAND

Montgomery County Delegate Lou Simmons proposes expansion of sex crime law

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A Montgomery County delegate is working to close a loophole some feel allowed a teacher to get away with having a sexual relationship with a student.

It was this time last year when Montgomery County police arrested middle school teacher Scott Spear for allegedly engaging in an intimate relationship with a 16-year-old Richard Montgomery High School student. At the time, Spear was the girl's track coach. Spear and his lawyer denied the allegations.

"I committed no crime," Spear told ABC7 last March.

Weeks later, all the charges were dropped when prosecutors discovered that since Spear was a part-time coach and not a full-time teacher and the girl was not under 16, no law would have been broken even if the allegations were proven to be true.

Spear felt vindicated at the time and wanted to teach again.

The incident uncovered a loophole in the law that a Montgomery County delegate now wants to closed.

"Your station and you brought this to light. Obviously, we don't want people in positions of authority over young women and young men in schools using their position to have sexual relations," said Delegate Lou Simmons.

Simmons' bill expands the law to include all school employees and coaches who supervise children.

Most have called the move a good idea.

Rick Baptista said, "Yeah that should already be a law...There shouldn't be no type of a loophole."

"As long as you work at a school, you shouldn't have relations with your students," added Brianna Taylor.

While it's impossible to predict any final outcome in the state House, it is expected that the bill will pass.

As for Spear, he tried to win his job back but ultimately resigned his position with Montgomery County Public Schools.

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