3 suspects in child sex crimes case granted bond, new details emerge

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There are two female victims in the case, but assistant state's attorney Tammy Leache says there could be more students who have fallen victim to abuse.

FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The three people charged with child sex crimes in the Jefferson School case were granted bond Thursday.

Ariel Eppard and Wesley Dean were granted $25,000 bonds while Jermaine Thomas was given a $50,000 bond.

Prosecutors say the crimes that took place while they worked as student supervisors at the Jefferson School, a private school for students with emotional and behavioral issues. The Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office detailed the allegations against Thomas.

“He would have the other co-defendant, Ms. Eppard, sign the minor victim out for field trips. Instead, she would take her to his house and he would take her to a motel for sex and he would videotape it,” said Tammy Leache with the Frederick County State’s Attorney’s Office.

The office alleges that Dean had Eppard stand watch as a victim performed sexual acts on him.

There are two female victims in the case, but the assistant state’s attorney, Tammy Leache, says there could be more students who have fallen victim to abuse.

“I also have another case pending involving another Jefferson School employee and a male student. It does seem that there was a lot of abuse of discretion, use of contraband cell phones, and sexting going on at the school. A culture that everyone was aware this was going on,” said Leache.

A former Jefferson School student says that these kinds of allegations weren’t always taken seriously when reported to school officials.

“There was a student who accused one of the staff members of [something similar to] what’s going on right now. The staff, they didn’t follow up on it, they didn’t say anything about it,” said Cacharelle Bonard-Grimshaw.

Bonard-Grimshaw said she remembers the three defendants from when she attended the Jefferson School and she was surprised to hear of the allegations made against them.

The state’s attorney’s office asked that all three be held without bond due to the nature of their crimes.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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