Saturday, May 25, 2013 12:12 AM
Published on: Thursday, March 22, 2012
By Christa Puccio
ROCKVILLE - Though an Anne Arundel prosecutor dismissed charges against a local high school basketball coach last week, Scott Spear still waits on the school system to complete its own investigation to see if he can get his job back.
Dana Tofig, spokesman for the Montgomery County Public Schools said he knows nothing about the investigation being undertaken by Human Resource Investigators, but also says the investigation will be thorough and should wrap up shortly.
Meanwhile, Steve VanGrack, Spear’s attorney said he wants the school system to expedite the investigation and wrap it up before the school system goes on spring break at the end of next week.
“Scott has maintained that he has nothing inappropriate and he would like his job back,” VanGrack said.
VanGrack said he doesn’t know yet what, if any action Spear will take against the school or anyone else in the wake of the dropped accusation. Spear, the head boys basketball coach at Richard Montgomery High School had been accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student at the school before those charges were dropped last week.
VanGrack said he is concerned about the way the charges were handled, and that he has yet to receive discovery evidence he ask for from the prosecutor.
“In Anne Arundel County, these charges are consulted with the state attorney’s office,” said VanGrack. “But, in Montgomery County, these charges were filed by the police department without consultation with the state attorney’s office. My speculation is if the Montgomery County Police had consulted with the state attorney’s office beforehand, there would never have been charges filed because even if the girl was telling the truth, there never would have been a charge.”
“In most cases, the charges are done by the police prior to it being brought to our offices,” said Seth Zucker, communications director for the Montgomery County State Attorney’s Office. “In most cases, we become involved after a case has been charged and then we screen the case and see if it’s appropriate for prosecution and what the appropriate path is for this case to take.”
“Once the case is charged, we go through looking at the police report and the charges and get a sense of what happened,” said Zucker. “We talk to the witnesses, we talk to the victim, obviously the police have done most of this before they charge them, but obviously we will also look and see what the appropriate path for the case is.”
“If the teacher is charged by the Anne Arundel County Police or any police department such as MSP, Annapolis City, then we can move forward on the case,” said Kristin Fleckenstein, communications director for the Anne Arundel County State Attorney’s Office. “Typically, the investigating officer brings the case to us in advance so that we can advise appropriate charges. We have a dedicated trial team for sex offenses and their opinion is usually sought in such matters.”
“Having said that, the case is over and MCPS is now doing their own investigation and we haven’t received anything from them either,” said VanGrack.
“In the police officer’s statement of charges he said he spoke with the victim,” said VanGrack. “From our position, he may have spoken to her, we don’t know what she said. There’s an enormous lack of detail in terms of what the girl may have said to the police officer. Our suspicion is there is nothing or they would have given it to us earlier. I really think they should have had a statement from the victim before they brought the charges.”
According to the statement of charges, “On 01-27-2012 the affiant received information that a female student sixteen years of age had sexual intercourse with a coach at Richard Montgomery High School.” The victim disclosed to the complainant sometime in May or June of 2011 that she had sexual intercourse with an older man. The victim did not tell the complainant who the suspect was; just that he was older than her. However, in November 2011 the victim disclosed that the suspect was her current track coach at Richard Montgomery High School, Scott D. Spear.”
“In a normal criminal case a defendant files a motion for discovery and in that document the state, prosecutors, are supposed to provide you with all documents and evidence that may be used as evidence in the case,” said Steve VanGrack. “So, if there was a statement from the victim, if there were pictures, or any information which they had that they could use in a trial they had to provide it to us, but they never gave us information and now they said now the case has been dismissed they don’t have to give us any information. Other than one statement of chargers, we don’t have any information.”