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Maryland 3rd grade teacher held on dozens of child sex abuse charges

A Maryland public school teacher has been arrested on dozens of child sex crime charges. 

Matthew Scott Banks Schlegel, 44, of Severna Park was arrested on Wednesday by Anne Arundel County police officers and has been charged with 14 felonies and 22

misdemeanors pertaining to child sex crimes, ranging from second-degree assault to sex abuse of a minor, police said

The alleged abuse involved minor students and occurred between August 2022 and March 2024. He was a teacher at Severna Park Elementary School since 2016 before his recent termination over the allegations. 

Students came forward to authorities about the abuse, police said. 

On March 15, the Anne Arundel County police’s child abuse unit launched an investigation into Schlegel. 

According to the charging documents, the students claimed Schlegel touched or groped them in class or when they walked to the restroom. At times, the behavior was subtle, occurring beneath classmates' desks or at his own. Other times, the behaviors were performed in front of others.  

Police said numerous witnesses reported seeing students sitting on Schlegel's lap during class. 

Child Protective Services spoke with eight of Schlegel's female students—some from this school year and others currently in higher grades—in forensic interviews between late March and late April. 

Police said Schlegel was arrested at his home on May 16 and is being held at the county’s detention center pending a bail hearing. 

Schlegel was temporarily released from his position the day the investigation had been launched and has since been terminated. 

Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel County Public Schools district chief spokesman, told WTOP that the teacher’s arrest is “the next step.” 

“But this community has been dealing with the impact of this case for some time. They have been made aware of what took place, and we have been providing them with resources, counselors and psychiatrists for some time.” 

Sharon Hansen, the school’s principal, said: “It is my goal to help students be able to access available resources in the wake of this difficult news and to ensure a continuity of instruction.” 

Anyone with information regarding this or other possible cases is requested to contact detectives at (410) 222-4733. Additionally, anonymous reports may be left at 410-222-4700 on the Anne Arundel County police tip line. 

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