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Ex-music teacher indicted, held without bond


La Plata, MD - According to documents on file and a missive to constituents from a local school board member, a former Charles County high school music instructor has been indicted on nine counts stemming from inappropriate encounters with a female student. The indictment summary filed in Charles County Circuit Court identifies the accused as Ralph Marvin Vandyke Jr., 59 of La Plata (pictured, above). Court records indicated he is being held without bond and an arraignment date has not been determined at this time.

Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) officials reported Vandyke was an instrumental music teacher at North Point High School. Vandyke was relieved of his teaching duties Nov. 15 of last year when allegations of sex abuse, sex exploitation and assault surfaced. He was reassigned to a school administrative building while an investigation was conducted. The grand jury indictment indicates that Vandyke’ indiscretions allegedly date back as far as August of 2008.

A grand jury indicted Vandyke on six counts of sex abuse of a minor in custody, two counts of fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree assault. The sex abuse of a minor in custody charges were related to alleged incidents that occurred:  Jan. 1, 2016 to Nov. 14, 2017; Jan. 1, 2017 to June 1, 2017; Dec. 1, 2015 to Nov. 14, 2017; Aug. 1, 2010 to May 22, 2012; Aug. 1, 2008 to June 30, 2011; and Aug. 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011.

The indictment indicates Vandyke’s victims were sexually exploited and contacted by the defendant in a sexual manner.

In a statement released by the school system, administrators stated, “CCPS has cooperated fully with the sheriff’s office and Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office throughout the investigation. As a parent or staff member, you may have questions regarding how you can support your children and students. Children may have questions that are difficult for you to answer. The information and resources below can assist you in talking about this recent event. Any one sign does not mean a child was sexually abused, but the presence of several suggests that you should begin asking questions and consider seeking help. We encourage parents to talk with your children about the investigation, and if they report anything inappropriate whatsoever, call 1-800-225-5324. Parents can also call Child Protective Services at 301-392-6731 or call 911 to report possible child abuse. All Charles County public schools have staff available during the school day to assist with questions or concerns parents may have regarding their child. This includes school counselors, school psychologists, pupil personnel workers and school administrators. Over the summer, concerned parents can contact the Department of Student Services at 301-934-7326.

The case is the latest incident of sexual misconduct in CCPS. Last year a former middle school instructor, Carlos Bell, faced over 100 sexual offense charges filed by the Charles County State’s Attorney’s Office and federal prosecutors. Bell pleaded guilty to several charges and is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars. Last November Latoya Niccole Parker, a nutrition teacher at St. Charles High School was indicted and later found guilty of misconduct in office and display of obscene material to a minor. She received an 11-year sentence which was suspended in its entirety as well as five years of unsupervised probation.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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