Wednesday, March 10, 1999

1999: Teacher began relationship during investigation, police say

by Daryl Khan
Staff Writer
March 10, 1999
By the time Winston Churchill High School music teacher James Misenheimer allegedly leaned over in the darkness of his office to kiss a 15-year-old student, school officials and police were nine days into an investigation of sexual misconduct, according to court documents.
On Jan. 22, the night of their alleged first kiss, Misenheimer treated the girl, a Churchill sophomore, to dinner and video games at Dave & Busters where she was allowed in only because she was with Misenheimer, an adult at least 25 years old. After dinner and games, they returned to his Churchill office, according to court documents.
That first night was followed by several more as the relationship "escalated over the next several weeks," according to court documents, and eventually they were allegedly looking at graphic sexual books, and engaging in sexual relations.
While officials from Montgomery County Public Schools and Police Youth Services Division began on Jan. 13 looking into allegations that Misenheimer had been exchanging sexually explicit e-mails with his students, he allegedly began the relationship with the 15-year-old whom he befriended on school-related trips.
Montgomery County Public Schools placed Misenheimer was placed on administrative leave with pay on Feb. 12 after a social worker contacted police and told them of allegations that Misenheimer was engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct over the Internet with a 14-year-old Churchill freshman.
Police charged Misenheimer Feb. 24 with two misdemeanor counts of stalking and contributing to the condition of a child for engaging in sexual e-mail conversations with the 14-year-old.
But now he faces additional charges -- one felony count of child abuse and two felony counts of third-degree sexual offense -- after the 15-year-old student told school officials March 1 that she had sexual contact after hours with Misenheimer in his school office.
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