Prosecutors Say Substitute Teacher Was ‘Mentor’ to Student He Allegedly Abused

Prosecutors Say Substitute Teacher Was ‘Mentor’ to Student He Allegedly Abused

Defense attorney argues sexual contact appears consensual

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Prosecutors alleged Tuesday that a Montgomery Blair High School substitute teacher was a “mentor” to a female student he is accused of abusing, though his attorney denied he had any position of authority over her.

Cory Boatman, a 27-year-old substitute teacher and assistant football coach at the high school in Silver Spring, was arrested Friday was charged with sexual abuse of a minor for his alleged sexual involvement with a 16-year-old student.

Boatman was released on $50,000 bail Tuesday, as set by Judge Zuberi Williams. Boatman must be electronically monitored, have no contact with the girl in the case or any other minors, and stay away from schools.

In Montgomery County District Court in Rockville, prosecutors with the state’s attorney’s office said Boatman “became a mentor” to the girl who accused him of abuse. They asked that the judge consider Boatman’s “abuse of a position of trust.”

Dave Martella, a lawyer representing Boatman, challenged that portrayal of the relationship.

“He was never her football coach. He was never her substitute for even a day,” Martella said. “He was never her mentor in any sense of the word.”

Martella said outside the courtroom that he would ask prosecutors to review the case, arguing that, if Boatman didn’t have a direct position of authority over her, their involvement would appear to be “a consensual relationship.” In Maryland, the age of consent is 16.

MCPS spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala said Tuesday she could not comment on whether Boatman ever taught the girl as a substitute.

The 16-year-old student told police that Boatman began sending her suggestive text messages in early August and, later that month, drove her to his Amherst Avenue apartment and had sex with her, according to police.

Boatman was placed on administrative leave on Sept. 25 after the school system learned of the allegations, Onijala said.

Williams said he didn’t consider Boatman a danger to the community, but he could be a danger to the girl he allegedly abused.

Williams said he reviewed the charges against Boatman and was taken aback.

“They’re shocking to me,” he said. “I’m not making a determination of guilt, but they are shocking to me.”

Boatman, a Wheaton resident, began working as an MCPS substitute teacher in March 2014, spending most of his time at Blair High, but also working once last month at Northwood High School in Silver Spring, according to Onijala. In the summer of 2014, he began volunteering as a football and basketball coach for Blair. He was hired as an assistant football coach in August 2017.

Boatman graduated from Our Lady of Good Counsel High School in Olney in 2008, then from Syracuse University, Martella said. He said his client has no criminal history and no legal history other than speeding tickets.

Boatman’s parents appeared in court and agreed to cosign on his bail. They initially stated they would take him into their Silver Spring home upon his release, but the judge said it was too close to Sligo Middle School. Martella asked if an exception could be made since he would be living with his parents, but Williams was firm in not allowing him near a school.

Boatman’s father, Cedric Boatman, said he would live in his son’s Wheaton apartment with him to monitor him.

Boatman is scheduled to appear in the District Court for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 3.

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