Second Student Allegedly Had Inappropriate Contact with Contractor at Baker

A second student in Damascus is alleging she had inappropriate contact with a contractor while at John T. Baker Middle School earlier this month.baker

According to Montgomery County Public Schools Spokeswoman Gboyinde Onijala, “A student from Damascus High School that was at Baker Middle School on or about the same day as the other incident has reported a similar allegation.”

Montgomery County Police would not confirm that the allegation was related to the arrest of John Edward Epps, Jr. of Fort Washington, who was charged recently with  fourth-degree sex offense and second-degree sex offense. In that Oct. 6 incident Epps allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a 12-year-old Baker Middle School student in early October.

But, Damascus Principal Jenn Webster sent home a letter  to Damascus High School students on Nov. 5 about the allegation. It says, “As part of the ongoing investigation, we have learned that the contract employee may have had inappropriate contact with a Damascus High School student who was at Baker Middle School for a school-related activity.”

Montgomery County Police Cpl. Rebecca Innocenti confirmed that police have interviewed the female student who was referred to in Webster’s letter.

“That investigation is ongoing in terms of what she experienced and whether it is a crime,” Innocenti told MyMCMedia Friday.

According to charging documents, a 12-year-old student was walking to class in the hallway of school and Epps, Jr. of Fort Washington was in the hallway walking in the opposite direction. The report claims that as Epps passed the student , he reached out with his left hand and made an “unsolicited and unwanted touching of the left buttocks of the juvenile victim.” According to the report the student, “turned around in shock and observed the suspect hurrying away up a staircase of the school.”

Onijala said that Epps worked in 58 MCPS schools. And, she said letters were sent home to the parents of students in those schools alerting them to the incident at Baker Middle School.

According to Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig, Epps was a contractor hired by Netcom, Inc. through a temporary agency. Onijala told MyMCMedia Friday that Epps has been fired by Netcom, Inc. and “will not be working at any MCPS sites.”

You can read the letter from Damascus Principal Jenn Webster below-

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About Susan Burkinshaw

Susan Burkinshaw is a 20+ year resident of Montgomery County. She is married and has three children, one in Montgomery County Public Schools, two in college. She has been a community advocate for over 10 years, primarily focusing on public safety, student health and safety, bullying prevention, teen drug and alcohol awareness, and best practices for prevention and intervention strategies, primarily in Montgomery County, Maryland and Montgomery County Public Schools. Susan was recognized by The White House as a Champion of Change for Parents on Education in April, 2012, and is a graduate of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2012, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Montgomery County Council of PTAs. She is a graduate of The Johns Hopkins Carey Business School MBA program. Susan is also an advocate for the arts, serving as Treasurer of the Board of Trustees for BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown. Susan works full time as Controller for CPR MultiMedia Solutions, a live events production company headquartered in Gaithersburg. In April 2015, Susan was appointed by the County Executive to the Montgomery County Transit Taskforce.

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