Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Does MCPS Separate Alleged Perpetrators from Victims in School Sex Assaults? Richard Montgomery HS Sex Assault Charges

The Parents' Coalition has obtained a copy of a Montgomery County District Court charging document that details the March 18, 2014, arrest of an 18 year old Richard Montgomery High School student for a 4th degree sexual offense that is alleged to have taken place at the school on February 27, 2014.  The victim is a 14 year old student at the school.  The incident is alleged to have taken place in the school at 10 AM while school was in session.

The charging document was forwarded to the Parents' Coalition by a source that wishes to remain anonymous. Our source tells us that when the family of the victim contacted the school they were told to not tell anyone about this incident.

At 1 PM today we contacted the Montgomery County State's Attorneys' office for a comment on this charge as it had, as yet, not been covered in the media.

By 4:34 PM this afternoon the Richard Montgomery High School principal sent out a notice to parents informing them of this incident.  The Gazette reported on the incident by 8:30 PM this evening.

Unfortunately, Montgomery County does not redact the names of minors in charging documents, so we will not be making the actual document public.  We have seen this in other Montgomery County sexual assault cases and it is very disturbing.  Other counties in Maryland do redact the names of minors.

We were told by our source that the alleged perpetrator is still a student at Richard Montgomery High School.  The victim is also still attending Richard Montgomery High School.

Is this how MCPS deals with students when a sexual assault has been alleged and an arrest has been made? 
The victim and alleged perpetrator are left in the same school? 
Is there any concern that the alleged victim would be bullied or harassed?

The letter sent to Richard Montgomery parents and guardians this afternoon is very vague.  We have reprinted it below.  The Gazette article says:
...Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig said the school has taken steps to reduce the number of places that students can hide from security. The measures include using mirrors and additional surveillance, according to Tofig.
Now remember that MCPS installed 70-80 state of the art security cameras at each high school.  The cameras are everywhere.  Did MCPS security cameras record this sexual assault?  We know the security cameras are not monitored, but did anyone review the tapes from this alleged February 27th incident?

MCPS is now saying security cameras are not sufficient and "mirrors" must be installed?  How many "mirrors" will each school get?
Remember that the security cameras are better than hiring additional security staff. That's the MCPS motto!

So what happened in this incident at Richard Montgomery High School? From the District Court charging document: 
(victim) agreed to skip class with (alleged perpetrator) and to meet with him in the hallway by the vending machine beside the attendance office. 
[sexual activity described] (victim) informed (officer) that this sexual act continued for approximately 20 minutes

Here's what Richard Montgomery High School parents and guardians were told today:

From: Richard Montgomery High School
Date: Tue, Apr 22, 2014 at 4:34 PM
Subject: School Update 
Dear Richard Montgomery High School Community,

In late March, our school was contacted by the family of a female student about a possible sexual assault that occurred during the school day which involved a male student.  Given the seriousness of the allegations,  we immediately involved the police. The administration and security staff of Richard Montgomery High School worked closely with the City of Rockville Police Department and the Montgomery County Police Department as they investigated this incident. An arrest has been made in this case.

As a result of this event, we are reexamining our security protocols and building supervision by the school administration, security, and staff.  As always, safety is our top priority at Richard Montgomery High School.   Together we will continue to provide a safe, secure environment for our students to learn and grow.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mrs. Afie Mirshah.  Thank you for your continued support.


Nelson McLeod, PhD
Principal, Richard Montgomery High School
250 Richard Montgomery Drive
Rockville, Maryland  20852


  1. Were my kids still at RM I would be screaming mad. Let me add that this was NOT posted to the PTSA list serv (to which I still subscribe). I also understand that no RM students were told of this either--some learned of it when their parents got the note. More than two months after the incident, a month after the arrest?

    I also love how Dr. McLeod doesn't list his email address or any contact information for the person parents are supposed to call. When my kids were there he refused to communicate by any means other than phone calls. Why is that? So there's no record?


    1. Nelson_McLeod@mcpsmd.org

    2. Seriously? It should be in the email message to parents. It wasn't. No one's was. I can find it but shouldn't have to.

    3. unacceptable,unacceptable , unacceptable..only said this?parent;s taken school, close school, not only high shool RICHARD MONGOMERY, institud KENNEDY GRIEGER IN ROCKVILLE ...abuse de my son !!! my son have autism...not mor quuestion parents is time , open yours eyes , not fill fear ...close MCPS is waste .

  2. Are we talking about installing one-way mirrors as a deterred to unlawful behavior?
    Whatever happened to hall passes?

  3. Washington Post, April 2nd


    Richard Montgomery Dr., 200 block, March 18. An 18-year-old man was arrested in connection with a fourth-degree sex offense that occurred between 10 and 10:35 a.m. on Feb. 27.


  4. Dear Anonymous who wants to slam victim. Sorry, not having any of that here.

    FYI the age of consent in Maryland is 16. Victim was 14 and could not legally consent. This is why we have laws to protect children.

    1. Has the Principal resigned yet?

  5. "An 18-year-old Richard Montgomery High School student has been charged with fourth-degree sex offense . . .
    A court hearing has been scheduled on May 8 for . . ., a 10th-grader at the school."
    What happened to the No Child Left Behind?

  6. MCPS is a shadow of its former self. Educated and academic-oriented families are yanking their kids out of MCPS, moving to NoVa, etc.

    Virtually nobody I know who attended the magnet programs in the '80s and '90s wants to raise a family there. Weast & his successor gutted the flagship magnet programs, lowered standards, and ushered in a new era of low achievement and expectations.

    Advice to MCPS parents: Don't sacrifice your children's education; send your child to a competitive school system with high standards, not to MCPS.

  7. PARENTS COALITION....close!!MCPS...is time .

  8. Principal hasn't been at school since this story broke, now stepping down on medical leave.


  9. This is the perfect time to poll the AG candidates for their stance on this issue.


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