Thursday, August 29, 2013

Update on Teacher's Aide from St. John the Evangelist School

Over the last few weeks, I have searched the Washington Post and the Montgomery County Gazette for any reference to the arrest of Allyson Gulley, the teacher's aide at St. John the Evangelist School (Silver Spring, MD).

Now, I do not expect to see it in the Catholic Standard but not one word in either one of the other papers.  The family and/or the Archdiocese must have some pretty strong pull with the Fourth Estate to keep this out of the papers.

In addition, one of my contacts was at the meeting held by the pastor and the "team" handling this matter at the school.  He reports that it was a total waste of time.  They had no answers (think the Sgt Schultz line -- "I know nothing!") and simply went over the Child Protection program. 


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Case #:123340C
Sub Type: Indictment
Scheduling Hearing: Sept. 6th at 8:30am in Courtroom #1  
Location: 50 Maryland Ave.  3rd Fl.

Count #1:  SEX ABUSE MINOR 
Count #2:  SEX OFFENSE THIRD DEGREE
Count #3: SEX OFF 4TH- PERS POS AUTH

The third count is as follows:

did as a person in a position of authority, engage in [a sexual act /sexual contact] with ____(name), a minor, who at the time of the [sexual act/sexual contact], was a student enrolled at the school where said person of authority was employed.

Note: See CR 3-308(a) for definition of "Person in a position of authority".
Note: See CR 3-307(a)(4) and CR 3-308(b)(2) for exceptions

4 comments:

Christine Dieste said...

I too am a practicing Roman Catholic. I have two children in Catholic school. I volunteer in the school and my parish. I grew up in Montgomery County, and went to Catholic schools my whole life. I love my Church. I too am saddened and upset by the Church's behavior and inaction over the years with regard to child sexual assault. However, I am a little amazed by your comments about this case. Did it occur to you that the media has been left out in order to protect the child, and not to save face for the Church? Did it occur to you that the child may be trying to heal and recover, along with his/her family and that this failure to report on it has more to do with the family of the child wanting to protect him/her and not wielding influence and power? I am surprised actually that as a Christian, and a practicing Catholic you are seeking retribution about a matter that does not directly effect you with no regard for the family in question. What of the family of the accused predator? What about their privacy and their pain? The police, the family and the school along with the Church are all aware and are addressing this. Why may I ask do you feel so entitled to information? You seek transparency and yet you do not even reveal your name on your site. Judge Not my friend, for the pain that this child is going through, just thank God that you are not in his/her shoes.

Christine Dieste said...

As a practicing Roman Catholic and mother of two children in Catholic school, I share your concern about the Church's history of dealing with child sexual assault. However I must admit that I am a bit baffled by your disregard for the family and the child in question. Perhaps this story has not made it to the press out of respect for the child and his/her family. Perhaps all of the parties directly impacted by this have been made aware of it, including the Church. And I am left wondering why you feel so entitled to be informed about the details? Why are you not offering your prayers for the child, the family and even the family of the accused predator? They all seem far more entitled to their privacy that you do to information about this very painful and private matter. You even go so far as to judge the family of the child? Perhaps you should stop feeling indignant long enough to Thank God you are not a victim and remember that neither are you called to judge. I can only hope and pray that this child recovers quickly and privately. I pray that the Holy Spirit protect their family and perhaps help you manage your outrage.

A WASHINGTONDC CATHOLIC said...

To Christine...

First, thank you for reading the blog.

Second, when I say the "family" I mean the family of the teacher's aide. I do not mean (or in any way point to) the family of the abused child. It goes without question that his/her name (first, middle, last or even a nickname) would ever be mentioned. Even if I knew the name of the child, I would not mention it or even hint as to who it is.

SO LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR TO YOU AND TO ALL, I DO NOT JUDGE THE CHILD OR HIS/HER FAMILY.

In fact, if you read my posting on June 30th, which you probably did not, it stated: Please keep the student, the student's family and the larger St. John's Community in your prayers.

Third, as a member of the Archdiocese, as someone who supports my parish and the archdiocese both with my time, talent and treasure, I have every right to know about this matter. Yes, I am affected, not directly as a family member (either the child or the accused) but I am affected.

Fourth, I have had a number of people write to me thanking me for providing basic public information on this matter. Why? Because the Archdiocese has told them nothing. They claim ignorance of everything, when they could at least say, "Here is where you can find information about the status of this matter" and leave it at that. I am not outraged, but I am bothered a great deal by it.

We see and read that when someone is arrested and indicted for child abuse, it makes the papers. So the question that I and others ask is: Why has this case not made it? What is different about this than all of the others?

So, after misreading my statements on the matter, probably your "outrage" clouded your thinking, it is my hope that God helps both of us to be better.

Anonymous said...

I was directed to your blog by a friend, a fellow parent at the school in question. I agree wholeheartedly with Christine Dieste's comments. I attended both meetings at the school. I understand but disagree with your "source" about the usefulness of the first meeting in particular. The pastor, the school, and the Archdiocese have to tread a fine line -- providing enough information to the school community to inform us and to help us care for our children in this very difficult situation, while at the same time respecting both the rule of law and Christian charity. The case has not been tried yet. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, a lot of damage has been done. Throwing fuel on the sensationalist fire and trying the case in the press in any form is not the right thing to do. Ascribing evil intentions to anyone but the (alleged) perpetrator is not right. We live in a 24 hour news culture and are thus accustomed to the "right" to instant information. There is no such right. I felt and feel that the approach the school is taking is about as good as it can get in this situation. I especially appreciated that the community's initial call for a PASTORAL approach rather than a bureaucratic one was heeded at the second meeting. The committee that was formed after the first meeting really tried to do that and the parent on the committee gave a wonderful reflection on the situation at the second meeting, which was much less fully attended than the first, probably due to vacation schedules and the initial shock having worn off.

Information about this case is available for anyone who wishes to find it using Maryland Case Search. The prurient details are not something to which anyone is entitled.