A D.C. public school teacher was placed on administrative leave yesterday after his indictment last week on charges that he enticed a 12-year-old boy to have sex with him by buying the youth expensive clothing and toys, a school official said last night.
School spokeswoman Janis Cromer said James B. Crawford, a science teacher at Backus Junior High School in Northeast had been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome the criminal case against him and an investigation by school authorities.
Crawford, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, pleaded not guilty in D.C. Superior Court last week to a 15-count indictment charging him with sodomy, enticing a minor child and taking indecent liberties with a minor.
According to court documents filed in the case, the boy told police that Crawford bought him expensive clothing and toys over a 48-day period last spring in exchange for sex.
Crawford allegedly first approached the youth and offered him a job during last year's Easter holiday as the boy was washing cars on Minnesota Avenue NE, court papers said. The boy initially refused Crawford's alleged sexual overtures, the papers said, but later acquiesced after Crawford bought him a radio/cassette player.
A police affidavit filed in the case alleges that the sexual acts continued and that Crawford gave the boy small amounts of cash and bought him a new bicycle, radio, expensive shoes and other clothing.
Crawford was arrested in June after the boy told police that "he began to suffer emotional problems" because of the acts and informed school authorities, according to the affidavit. Crawford is free pending trial.