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Maryland elementary school teacher accused of sexually assaulting multiple students

Former Anne Arundel Co. elementary teacher accused of child sex abuse
Former Anne Arundel Co. elementary teacher accused of child sex abuse 02:22

BALTIMORE -- A former Anne Arundel County elementary school teacher has been charged after he was accused of sexually assaulting numerous female students, according to police.

Matthew Schlegel, 44, 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.  

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 over the course of 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 had no contact with students, according to the district. 

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

Some in the community said the charges came as a disturbing disappointment. 

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

WJZ attempted to speak with Schlegel's family but was told "no comment." 

Schlegel is scheduled to have a bail hearing on Friday. 

In a statement to the school community, the acting principal stated:

Below is information released today by the Anne Arundel County Police Department detailing criminal charges placed against one of our teachers, Matthew Schlegel. 

As the acting principal at Severna Park Elementary School, while Principal Kyle Butler is on prearranged family leave as he and his wife welcome their newborn son, it is my goal to help students be able to access available resources in the wake of this difficult news and to ensure a continuity of instruction.

It is important for you to understand, if you do not already, that Mr. Schlegel was reassigned as soon as our school system received the first allegation in this case. AACPS promptly turned the matter over to the appropriate law enforcement agencies and have been working with them since that time. 

Mr. Schlegel has not been working in a position in which he has had contact with students since his reassignment.

As has been the situation since this case began, our school also has resources available to support any students who have been impacted by this matter or who have a need to discuss their feelings. 

Should your student need these resources, please ask them to speak to any staff member and we can direct them appropriately. Our school system is ready to support the school's needs as necessary.

As you will see below, police are asking anyone with more information about this case or potential other cases to contact them at 410-222-4733 or 410-222-4700.

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