2020 | Courts

Trial scheduled for Magruder teacher accused of sexual abuse

Peter Mason allegedly had sexual interactions with student in 2019, police say

A February trial has been set for a Col. Zadok Magruder High School teacher accused of sexually abusing a student in 2019.

Peter Wright Priest Mason, 43, of New Market, was arrested in November 2019 and charged with sexual abuse after he allegedly had several sexual interactions with a 17-year-old student.

Court documents allege Mason and the student began communicating via the mobile app Snapchat on the last day of the 2018-19 school year and later began calling each other regularly.

In September 2019, Mason told the girl he was “interested in her,” according to court documents, and the two met in a park after school on Friday afternoons. The two performed sex acts on each other at the park at least four times, court documents say. Once, the two allegedly met in Mason’s classroom before school.

Police began investigating the alleged sexual abuse of a minor at the school after Mason told a family member he was having a “physical relationship” with the student, court documents state.

Mason was a special education teacher at Magruder and has worked for MCPS since 2011.

A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge on Friday scheduled a four-day jury trial for Mason to begin at 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 16.

Mason faces one charge of sexual abuse of a minor and five charges of fourth-degree sexual offense by a person in a position of authority.

Jury trials are currently suspended in Montgomery County due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Trials were halted beginning Nov. 16, and the order is scheduled to expire Dec. 31, but could be extended. Hearings are still being conducted virtually, via Zoom.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com