A minister who volunteered as a mentor at the Friendship Academy of Engineering and Technology has been accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy he befriended. Police say the man, 47, fondled the boy, made him watch pornographic videos and masturbated in front of him. However, the man adamantly denies the criminal charges and claims he is being falsely accused.
The man had befriended the boy and became his mentor before he began volunteering at the Friendship Academy. He opened up his home to the boy, allowing him to stay over at his house so he would be able to walk to his nearby school. According to school officials, the boy’s mother approached the school about allowing the man to volunteer, saying he was a mentor to her son. After passing a background check, the man was allowed to volunteer at the school.
Eventually, the boy’s mother confronted the man and accused him of sexually assaulting her son. He allegedly told her that he was investigating child predators for the FBI and city and state police. The mother claims he presented handguns and badges as proof of his claim.
A search of the man’s home turned up handcuffs, a registered handgun and some badges for security companies. The man’s computers were seized for analysis. He was charged with sex abuse of a minor, solicitation of a minor, assault and impersonating a police officer.
The man has no criminal history, although a woman did obtain a protective order in April that ordered him to stay away from her and her son. However, the woman did not claim any sexual abuse of her son. She merely claimed that he had “overstepped his boundaries” after befriending her son.
The man is married, but admitted to being gay. However, he told police he is able to control his “homosexual thoughts.” The man said the boy had looked up the pornographic websites on his computer. ABC2 News reports that the man’s wife maintains his innocence and said these accusations stem from a falling-out between her husband and the boy’s mother. The man’s neighbors also expressed disbelief, saying they could not believe he was capable of the alleged abuse.
Source: The Baltimore Sun “School volunteer, 47, charged with sex abuse of minor,” 29 Oct. 2010
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