A Montgomery County, Maryland, public school teacher and former candidate for Congress is under arrest after he was accused of having inappropriate sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl.
Maxwell Bero, 30, of Clarksburg, Maryland, is charged with sexual abuse of a minor and multiple counts of committing a third-degree sex offense.
Montgomery County police said the alleged contact happened between August 2014 and June 2015, when the now 19-year-old victim was an eighth-grade student at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring, and Bero was her teacher.
Investigators said the contact happened on school property, after regular school hours, and that Bero also exchanged sexual materials and messages with the victim.
Bero, who most recently worked at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg as a social studies teacher, boys’ varsity lacrosse head coach and varsity football assistant coach, has been placed on administrative leave.
Montgomery County Public Schools said Bero has been working for the district since 2009, and initially worked as a substitute teacher at numerous different schools.
In 2013, he worked as a long-term substitute at Wheaton High School, and at the same time, he was boys’ varsity lacrosse head coach and varsity football assistant coach there.
His time at Lee Middle School lasted from 2013 until 2016, when he moved to Watkins Mill High School.
“These charges are deeply concerning and unacceptable, and represent a complete breach of trust, responsibility, integrity and the law,” Derek Turner with Montgomery County Public Schools wrote in a letter to the school community.
“We hold our employees to a high standard of character and these allegations violate that.”
Turner said counseling staff are available to connect virtually with students this week.
Police are concerned that there might be more victims, and are asking anyone with information to call the Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400.
In June, Bero ran against incumbent U.S. Rep. David Trone in the Democratic primary in Maryland’s 6th District, and lost. Trone will face Republican Del. Neil Parrott in November.