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Society

Former Maryland Teacher Lawrence Joynes Pleads Guilty To Child Porn Possession

| by Khier Casino

A former Maryland music teacher with a 27-year career, pleaded guilty on Thursday in a Baltimore County Circuit Court to possessing child pornography.

Lawrence W. Joynes, 55, who taught for 10 years at New Hampshire Estates Elementary School in Montgomery County, Md., is charged with abusing 14 elementary school students during his time at the school, The Washington Post reports.

Police said that Joynes allegedly abused a former student when she was a seventh-grader at Eastern Middle School in Silver Spring, where he worked in the 1990s. According to arrest records, Joynes fondled her and had sexual intercourse with her. He faces charges of second-degree rape, child abuse and three counts of sex offense in that case.

Montgomery County District Judge Eugene Wolfe says the nature of the charges against Joynes was a reason he was held without bail until trial, The Gazette reported.

He was sentenced in Baltimore to about one year in jail for time served, and was ordered to register as a sex offender, according to court records.

With the plea and sentencing, prosecutors can now pursue charges against Joynes in Montgomery County.

Montgomery police found out about Joynes, a resident of Dundalk, Md., from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Baltimore County police investigation of online distribution of child pornography. The images on his computer were of victims, allegedly students from Montgomery County.

Joynes does not work for the school system anymore.

A New Hampshire Estates principal limited Joynes’ access to students in 2011 after inappropriate conduct was reported two times, according to a court document. He was told not to be alone with students in the classroom and to keep away from the playground during recess. However, court documents claim that Joynes filmed a kindergartner acting in sexually suggestive ways while restrictions were in place.

The Joynes case raised concerns of school officials, who said they would improve tracking reports of inappropriate conduct and offer more training to principals.

Montgomery state’s attorney’s office spokesman, Ramon Korionoff, said the investigation into Joynes continues.