La Plata, MD - A nutrition teacher at St. Charles High School in Waldorf has been indicted in Charles County Circuit Court and is charged with making sexual advances toward a 17-year-old male student. The accused—identified as Latoya Niccole Parker, 40 of Waldorf--faces three counts, including sexual abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor, both felonies; and displaying obscene material to a minor.
It was revealed during a Tuesday, Nov. 7 bond hearing before Judge Amy Bragunier that Parker has been under investigation for six months. According to court records, the sexual overtures Parker is accused of making began in January and ended in May when the Charles County Sheriff’s Office began its investigation of the defendant’s alleged actions. Parker has been removed from the classroom but remains employed by the Charles County Board of Education, according to the attorney who represented her at the hearing, Hammad Matin.
Charles County Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Freeman requested a “high bond” for Parker, who sat quietly in court. Freeman called Parker’s actions “brazen.” Freeman chronicled the alleged actions that led to the indictment. The prosecutor stated the victim began attending class at St. Charles in January and Parker took an interest in him. Freeman said Parker would remove the victim from class and buy him meals at area restaurants. Subsequently, she began to write “love notes to him.” The content of the missives gradually went from being innocuous mash notes and became more lurid, with requests for the performance of sexual acts. The victim was also offered money in return for sex acts. Parker is alleged to have shown the victim several images, include pictures of her naked and performing sex acts.
The victim reportedly confided in classmates about Parker’s behavior. Then, adults who learned about the alleged actions contacted authorities. Investigators subsequently executed a search and seizure warrant on Parker’s residence.
Detectives confiscated the teacher’s composition book containing the letters to the victim and several electronic devices, including computers and phones. Text messages Parker allegedly sent to the victim were found on the confiscated phones, Freeman stated. The prosecutor stated that Maryland State Police investigators located nearly 50 images and one video matching the descriptions of the materials Parker allegedly showed to the victim.
“I understand she may not have a criminal record,” said Freeman, who added Parker had been placed in a position of public trust when she was hired as a classroom teacher. “She went beyond asking. There is a community aspect of public safety.”
Matin countered, “this is not a rape. There are no allegations of any sexual contact. She has no priors, no record. She’s not a flight risk.”