- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A former St. Mary’s teacher originally charged last spring with a sexual solicitation offense and displaying obscene material has been placed on probation, online court records state, on a guilty plea to a telecommunications offense.
Arturo V. Leon III’s employment with St. Mary’s public schools quickly ceased last June after school officials learned details of the investigation, the superintendent reported. Leon, now 30, of California was released on $25,000 bond after his arrest in St. Mary’s on the charging papers alleging he engaged in sexually explicit conversations from the summer of 2012 until March of this year on an online chat website, with a Baltimore detective who presented himself as a 14-year-old girl.
Charging papers detailed Leon’s alleged conversations with the detective, including Leon’s requests for intimate photographs and inquiries about sexual experiences, clothing and personal hygiene.
Leon pleaded guilty last week in a Baltimore circuit court to the telecommunications offense, online court records state, and he was sentenced to three years in prison, all of which except for four days was suspended, and he was placed on three years of supervised probation. A charge of the display of obscene material to a minor was closed.
During the investigation, the detective obtained grand jury subpoenas to find the identity of the suspect, reviewing records from Yahoo and Metrocast cable that led to a police visit last May with Leon’s roommate in California’s Wildewood community.
The roommate called Leon, who soon arrived at the residence and “agreed he chatted about the chats” described in court papers, initialed a webcam picture of himself and a nude picture of himself, and identified himself as a teacher at Esperanza Middle School in Lexington Park, according to charging papers filed by Baltimore city police detective Donald K. Shores.
“Leon stated that he never had anything happen at school like this,” the detective wrote in a charges application, adding that the suspect handed over two laptop computers to the investigator.
Thomas C. Morrow, Leon’s lawyer, said at the time of his client’s arrest that no evidence whatsoever of any solicitation offense had been presented. Morrow could not be reached this week for comment on the case’s disposition.
Leon taught social studies at Esperanza, and coached sports, including Great Mills High School’s cross-country teams, according to web pages of the county’s public schools. He also was the head coach of the school’s boys lacrosse team.