Bladensburg High School teacher charged with sex abuse of 17-year-old student

A Bladensburg High School teacher has been charged with the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old female student, police said Friday.

Thomas Barber, 29, of Annapolis, Maryland, also served as an assistant coach for the junior varsity girls’ volleyball team.

Barber admitted to the abuse to Prince George’s County police on Thursday, and he has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor and related charges.

Police Chief Hank Stawinski said in a news conference Friday that the case came to the attention of police less than 24 hours ago. On Thursday, the student reported that Barber had engaged in sexual contact with her, both on campus and off campus, since the school year started, police said.

“I have to thank the courage of the victim and all those who stepped forward to address this situation,” Stawinski said.

Police said that this student’s report is so far the only case involving sexual abuse with Barber. “We are not aware of any additional victims,” Stawinski added.

Barber is in custody and awaiting arraignment.

Prince George’s County Public Schools released a statement before the news conference, saying the school system was aware of Barber’s arrest. Barber was fired as a result of the allegations.

“We will cooperate fully with law enforcement in this investigation,” PGCPS said. “Any behavior that brings harm to a student will not be tolerated in any way by PGCPS. We remain focused on our commitment to ensuring safe learning environments for all students.”

Anyone with information relevant to this case can call the police department’s Child and Vulnerable Adult Unit at (301) 772-4930.

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