Man avoids jail in middle school groping incident

WASHINGTON — A man who groped a young girl at a middle school in Damascus, Maryland accepted a plea deal in Montgomery County Circuit Court Tuesday.

John Epps admitted he touched a 12-year-old child on the buttock as she walked down a hallway at John T. Baker Middle School.

The incident was caught on surveillance video, according to Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.

“We did have some visual images of this particular touching as it took place,” he said.

Epps was at the school in October as a contract worker, installing security cameras.

“When you send your 12-year-old daughter off to school, you are not expecting that she is going to be pawed by some 45-year-old guy,” McCarthy said.

Under the plea agreement, Epps was placed on five years probation.

He will need to register as a sex offender in Maryland for the next 15 years.

The incident outraged parents, partly because school officials did not alert them until several weeks after the incident.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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