The Washington Post

2 men charged in Montgomery County child-sex-abuse cases

Montgomery County police charged two men who worked in the county school system with sexual abuse on Monday — a teacher at Neelsville Middle School in Germantown and a former media serv­ices technician at Northwood High School in Silver Spring.

Aaron Lamere, the media serv­ices technician, is also accused of showing two students images of a naked man on his cellphone. Lamere, 39, of Gaithersburg, resigned March 7 while he was under investigation, school officials said.

In February, police were contacted after a staff member at Neelsville Middle reportedly observed seventh-grade teacher Cuyler Jay Cornell engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student, said Dana Tofig, a school system spokesman.

Detectives learned that Cornell had befriended the student, visiting the child’s home and going on excursions together, according to police. Cornell, 50, of Germantown, has been charged with two counts of committing a third-degree sex offense and one count of sexual abuse of a minor, according to authorities. Cornell was placed on administrative leave immediately after the allegation surfaced, according to the school system.

In a letter Monday to parents, Neelsville Principal L. Victoria Lake-Parcan said counselors would be available to speak with students.

“I know this news is extremely upsetting for our parents, our students and our staff,” she wrote. “Please know that the safety and security of your children is of the utmost importance.”

In March, a month after the Cornell investigation began, detectives began looking into allegations against Lamere. The two cases are not related, according to Tofig, the school system spokesman.

According to police, detectives searched a laptop Lamere used at the school and found pornographic images of young males.

Detectives learned of three alleged victims at the school, police said. According to police, Lamere “solicited two of the victims for sex via text messages, inappropriately touched two of the victims on several occasions, showed two of the victims images of a naked male on his cellphone, and exposed himself to two of the victims.”

Lamere was charged with 17 counts of possession of child pornography, sexual solicitation of a minor, indecent exposure and other counts, police said.

“I am deeply disturbed by these allegations and concerned for the well-being of the victims in these cases,” Northwood Principal Henry R. Johnson Jr. said in a letter to parents.

Neither Cornell nor Lamere could be reached for comment. Online court records do not identify attorneys either man may have hired.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.



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