A former Prince George's County high school teacher, athletic administrator and coach yesterday reached a plea agreement that likely will allow him to avoid jail time after facing felony sexual child abuse and second-degree assault charges.
Troy Shockley, 42, who had been a psychology teacher, track coach and athletic director at Suitland High until an alleged incident with a student in early February, made an Alford plea to second-degree assault yesterday in Circuit Court in Upper Marlboro. The plea means that, while Shockley maintained his innocence, he acknowledged the prosecution had enough evidence to convict him.
Second-degree assault is punishable by up to 10 years in jail, but sentencing guidelines for first-time offenders call for probation. Shockley's attorney, Theresa Moore, asked Judge Dwight D. Jackson for probation before judgment -- which would mean that if Shockley completes probation successfully, he could have his court records expunged. The prosecution remained silent on the request.
Assistant state's attorney Donine Gaynor asked Jackson for Shockley to be required to perform 80 hours of community service without contacting anyone under age 18 and for Shockley to not have any contact with the alleged victim or his family.
Sentencing was postponed until Nov. 19, after a pre-sentencing investigation.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors declined to try Shockley on the more serious charge of felony sexual child abuse, which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail.
Shockley had been arrested on March 26 for allegedly offering to perform oral sex on a 15-year-old male student in his office at the school. He subsequently was fired from his jobs at Suitland.
Although prosecutors had been in contact with the alleged victim and his family, yesterday's plea agreement upset the alleged victim's father.
"Come on, he's in school with students [and] a track coach and they're not going to put him on the [registered] sex offender [list]?" said the father, who declined to be identified. The Washington Post generally does not publish names of alleged sexual assault victims. "What is he?"
The father said he was upset with the punishment, not the plea agreement.
Prosecutors "made us aware he was going to plead," he said, "they didn't make us aware of the punishment."
Prince George's County State's Attorney Glenn F. Ivey said he thought the plea agreement was appropriate.
"I'm surprised by the father's comments," Ivey said. "We decided to move forward with the plea agreement only after consulting with the mother and trying to address her concerns. If the father had problems with the plea agreement, I wish he had told us before the plea was taken.
"In addition, at least this man now has a record of a prior conviction and he'll be out of Prince George's County Public Schools, so he won't be able to do this to any more of our children."
Moore said neither she nor Shockley would comment yesterday.