Longtime Md. music teacher charged with multiple counts of child sex abuse

Lawrence Joynes, a former music teacher, was charged with multiple child sex abuse counts. (Photo courtesy Baltimore County Detention Center)

WASHINGTON – A 54-year-old Maryland teacher was charged with multiple counts of child sexual abuse after Montgomery County police say he photographed and videotaped more than a dozen of his young students performing obscene gestures in his music room.

Lawrence W. Joynes, of Dundalk, was a music teacher at New Hampshire Estates Elementary in Silver Spring for 10 years and during that time police say he abused 14 girls from 2005 to 2013. Joynes is no longer employed by Montgomery County Public Schools.

A 15th victim is an adult now and was the victim of what police described as unlawful sexual encounters during a three-year period in the 1990s. Police aren’t saying whether she was also a student of Joynes.

“We are concerned that there are additional victims, and we are urging anyone who believes they have been victimized by him to please come forward,” says Montgomery County police spokeswoman Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti.

Montgomery County detectives charged Joynes on Aug. 8 with 14 counts of sexual abuse of a minor and one count of a third-degree sex offense. He also faces charges of second-degree rape and child abuse related to the now-adult victim.

Joynes was under investigation for child pornography in Baltimore County and investigators there served search warrants at both his home in Dundalk and his classroom in Silver Spring. At both locations, investigators found videos and images of children on his computer and other digital media, police say.

Among the seized evidence were videos and photographs that show the girls in Joynes’ classroom as he directs them and/or assists them in making sexually suggestive gestures. The evidence also shows inappropriate touching by Joynes, Innocenti says.

Montgomery County detectives were able to identify the 14 alleged victims from the seized videos and photos. The girls were Joynes’ students, ranging in age from kindergarten to second grade, police say.

Joynes taught for Montgomery County Public Schools for 27 years. He spent the last decade working at New Hampshire Estates Elementary.

In a statement, the school district says Joynes no longer works for Montgomery County Public Schools and that district officials have cooperated with the police department and will continue to assist as the investigation continues.

“Such conduct is very rare, but when allegations are made we take them very seriously and work closely with the police and Child Protective Services. As a school district, we review our policies and practices with regard to investigating and tracking any allegations of possible misconduct by one of our employees with an eye toward improving them whenever and wherever possible,” the statement says.

Joynes is currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center on a child pornography charge.

Detectives ask that anyone who may have been victimized by Joynes to contact them at (240) 773-5400.

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