A former substitute teacher has admitted to engaging in sexual acts with a 17-year-old student at James Wood High School.
Kyle Ray Hendrickson, 37, of Frederick County, pleaded guilty on Friday in Frederick County Circuit Court to two felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. Since no agreement was made in exchange for Hendrickson's pleas, Judge Alexander Iden said the defendant faces a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
Frederick County Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Andrew Robbins said Hendrickson was a substitute teacher at James Wood during the fall semester and struck up a friendship with a 17-year-old student. They talked and joked around with each other for several weeks.
In November, when the boy was just a few days shy of his 18th birthday, he and Hendrickson met in James Wood's Science Department for a private conversation. After a few minutes, Robbins said, Hendrickson closed the door to the room and walked toward the teen with "an obvious erection." Robbins said the teen lowed Hendrickson's pants and performed oral sex on him, then Hendrickson performed oral sex on the student.
The next day, Robbins said, Hendrickson reported to James Wood High School administration that the 17-year-old boy had been making inappropriate advances toward him. On Nov. 3, administrators called the student to the office and spoke to him about his reported conduct.
According to Robbins, the student became upset with Hendrickson because he believed he and the substitute teacher had engaged in consensual sexual acts. When Hendrickson approached school administration about the boy's alleged conduct, it made the teen feel he had done something wrong.
A few days after being confronted by administration, the student confided in another James Wood High School teacher about what he and Hendrickson had done. Since the sexual encounter occurred on school grounds, the teacher reported the incident to administrators.
At the end of November, Robbins said, school administrators and Frederick County Sheriff's Office investigators questioned Hendrickson about engaging in oral sex with the student, who by that point had turned 18. Hendrickson admitted what happened but claimed the boy was the aggressor.
Hendrickson's attorney, Howard Manheimer, said on Friday that Hendrickson continues to maintain that the student closed the door to the Science Department and commenced the sex acts. However, that detail was ultimately irrelevant because Hendrickson's admission to engaging in a sexual encounter with the teen provided sufficient evidence for "meeting the elements of a conviction," Manheimer said.
Iden ordered that a pre-sentencing report be prepared for Hendrickson to determine appropriate punishment parameters, then scheduled a sentencing hearing for June 22 in Frederick County Circuit Court.
Hendrickson was allowed to remain free on a $10,000 bond while awaiting sentencing. But Manheimer requested the terms of his client's bond be modified for the sake of Hendrickson's wife and four children, ages 13, 11, 6 and 3.
Since the bond conditions prohibit Hendrickson from being around children other than his own or on school property, Manheimer said the defendant is unable to attend church or school functions involving his kids, and his kids cannot have friends over to the house to play. Manheimer asked that those conditions be eased, with the requirement that another adult be present anytime Hendrickson is around children other than his own.
"The court should not relax these particular rules for him," Robbins told Iden. "Certainly while sentencing is pending, there should be no contact [with children other than his own] at all."
Iden agreed for the most part, telling Hendrickson he could not attend church, school functions or any other activity where children congregate. However, the judge consented to let Hendrickson drop off and pick up his kids from school.
That proved to be a moot point, though, because Hendrickson told Robbins following Friday's hearing that Frederick County Public Schools has issued a "no trespassing" order that prohibits him from stepping foot on school grounds.
Hendrickson, who was indicted in January, is one of three Frederick County educators accused this year of having inappropriate contact with students.
Trials are still pending for 23-year-old Emily Shay Walker, a former Frederick County Middle School teacher accused of a felony for having inappropriate contact with a 12-year-old student on several occasions, and 41-year-old Matthew Jurgen Geyer, a former teacher's aide at Sherando High School charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly having sexual contact with an underage student off school grounds. They are both being held without bond at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center near Winchester.
Additionally, a West Virginia teacher who lived in Frederick County at the time of her offense pleaded guilty on Jan. 11 to a felony charge of distributing obscene material to a juvenile. Thirty-nine-year-old Melissa Mae Didiana, who recently moved from Cross Junction to Martinsburg, West Virginia, was a special education teacher at Capon Bridge Middle School in Capon Bridge, West Virginia, when she was arrested on Dec. 9, 2021, for sending explicit images of herself to two teenage students.
Private school or home school your children. The public schools are becoming a sewer.
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