capital news service
ANNAPOLIS — Part-time school employees in Maryland have legally been able to engage in sexual relationships with students as young as 16 and avoid prosecution due to a loophole in the current law.
Delegates from Montgomery and Allegany counties proposed two bills Tuesday that would prohibit school employees 21 and over — including full-time, part-time, contractors and coaches — from having sexual contact with minor students.
The current law was passed in 2006 and only prohibits full-time employees from sexual contact with students who are of legal age to consent, which is 16 in Maryland.
A person found guilty of the misdemeanor, a fourth-degree sex offense, under the proposed law would be subject to a 1-year prison sentence, a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both.