|By Brian Englar|
James Arthur Ways, 50, of the 1700 block of Bren Will Drive in Westminster, was served with a criminal summons Monday charging him with three counts of fourth-degree sex offense, authorities said.
The investigation started Sept. 28, 2011, with a conversation involving two students and a teacher, according to charging documents filed in Frederick County District Court. One of the students said her sister would have Ways as a teacher in the spring, and that he was a "letch," the documents state.
When the teacher asked what she meant, she told him that one of her friends was having a relationship with Ways, and that he often had his classroom door locked when he was in the room with the girl before school, the documents state.
She said the girl called Ways by his first name and discussed having "private time" at school with him, as well as meeting him outside of school. She also said the student had texted sexually suggestive pictures to Ways, the documents state.
The teacher told the principal, who interviewed the students and then told Ways to get his things and leave the school.
Ways, who was hired by Frederick County Public Schools in 1985, was put on administrative leave until March 5, when his employment with the school system was terminated, according to spokeswoman Marita Loose.
That same day a member of the Frederick County Bureau of Investigation and a Child Protective Services worker interviewed the girl, who, according to the documents, said of Ways, "We're pretty, like, close friends. I trust him."
The girl told investigators she spent time with Ways before classes started on the days she drove to school. She said she set up an email account that would allow him to send texts to her phone, and that the two exchanged messages, which were sometimes sexual, during school hours, the documents state.
Additionally, she said she met Ways outside of school on three occasions: once in the woods near McKaig Road, once at Libertytown Park and once in the parking lot of the Food Lion in New Market. She said in each case she got into Ways' car and had intimate contact with him.
The girl also said she sent pictures and videos of herself where she was partially undressed, the documents state.
Ways is scheduled for a court appearance June 19, according to court records. He has hired Frederick lawyer John R. Discavage.
Story From Frederick News Post