Watch CBS News

No bail for Maryland teacher accused of sexually assaulting students. Judge "deeply disturbed" by case"

Maryland elementary teacher accused of child sexual assault denied bond
Maryland elementary teacher accused of child sexual assault denied bond 02:01

BALTIMORE - A judge said he was "deeply disturbed" and then denied bond on Friday for the former Severna Park Elementary School teacher accused of sexually assaulting several students.

Matthew Schlegel, 44, faces 36 charges, ranging from second-degree assault to sex abuse of a minor. He was arrested at his home on Thursday. 

Parents of the alleged victims, and Schlegel's supporters, were at the first court appearance.

In order to protect their children's identity, parents would not speak, but there were sighs of relief after the judge's ruling.


Schlegel will remain behind bars pending his preliminary hearing, an Anne Arundel County judge ruled.

He faces charges after allegedly sexually assaulting numerous female students at the school between August 2022 and March 2024, according to detectives with the Anne Arundel County Police Department. 

Police said throughout their investigation, which began in March, at least eight forensic interviews were conducted with students who alleged they were touched inappropriately by their third-grade math teacher, Schlegel, during class. 

Immediately after being notified of the allegations, the school system removed Schlegel from the classroom on March 15 and reassigned him to a position that has no contact with students, according to the district. 

"He shouldn't be out on the street," said Anne Arundel County resident Jane Harris.

Schlegel has been with the public school system since 2008 and a teacher at Severna Park Elementary School since 2016, according to a spokesperson with the district.  

"I would be enraged," said Tim, a Severna Park resident.

Parents in the community say they're disturbed by the allegations.

"As parents, we just want to protect our kids and sending them to school is supposed to be a safe place" Severna Park resident Chris Gillespie said.

"If that were my kids, you're absolutely right, I would be totally heartbroken and ticked off to be honest with you," Tim added.

Schlegel's attorney pushed for house arrest, saying his client is not a flight risk and has no criminal history.

"He was suspended by Anne Arundel County Public Schools and we were aware of these allegations for about a month," defense attorney Peter O'Neill said. "If he wanted to flee, he could have certainly taken the opportunity to do so. He didn't because he wants to defend himself. He's innocent." 

However, Judge Kemp Hammond said that due to the severity of the allegations, the safety of the community is his main concern.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.