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Teacher Pleads Guilty to Sexaul Relationship With 12-year-Old

April 24, 1985

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) _ A former elementary school teacher accused of having a six-month sexual relationship with a 12-year-old boy pleaded guilty to a third-degree sex offense Tuesday and was placed on three years supervised probation.

Saying the former teacher at the Stedwick Elementary School in Gaithersburg had ″violated a very significant trust,″ Montgomery County Circuit Administrative Judge David L. Cahoon also ordered Mary Kathleen Gladner to remain in psychotherapy and be precluded from jobs which would involve ″close association with minors.″

Mrs. Gladner, 33, said she had been ″perceiving things out of focus. I have been jarred to another point of view. I can’t change where I have been, but I can change where I am going.″

She had been charged by police with second-degree rape and Cahoon reserved the right to impose the maximum 10-year jail term if the conditions of the sentence are violated.

The woman’s attorney, Robert Quinlan, said in court that Mrs. Gladner met the boy when she was his third grade teacher, and that their sexual relationship lasted from June 1984 until her arrest in January 1985.

State’s attorney spokeswoman Sara Forden said that according to court documents the woman and boy had sexual intercourse 18 times at her Gaithersburg home during the six month period.

Ms. Forden said the boy used to babysit for the woman’s child. She said the incident came to light after the boy’s parents found letters Mrs. Gladner had written him. The boy did not testify against Mrs. Gladner.

Dr. Laurence T. Allen, a psychiatrist who has worked with the woman, recommended the counseling as an alternative to jail, saying he did ″not believe there was any intention of exploitation.″

The woman’s childhood was ″a struggle to survive,″ Dr. Allen said. ″There was a considerable amount of turmoil and (the student) represented a constant, non-threatening figure for her. I had no sense of any preoccupation of thinking about anything sexual. The theme that consistently came through was the importance of his presence in helping her to cope on a day-to-day basis.″

Allen said he did not ″believe she went looking for a younger child to have a personal relationship with.″

Prosecutors would not say whether the boy, whose name was withheld, was a student at Stedwick.

Before sentencing, Cahoon credited the former teacher with ″a reputation for being effective and committed,″ but also said ″by the commission of this criminal act, she violated a very significant trust that was imposed on her by virtue of her employment.″