WALDORF, Md. – A teacher in Charles County was recently charged by a grand jury with three counts of felony sexual abuse of children that he taught between 2018 and 2019.
Matthew Anthony Strain, 54 of Prince Frederick, was formerly a teacher at Saint Peter’s School in Waldorf. Saint Peter’s School is a private school overseen by the Archdiocese of Washington.
According to court documents, Strain stands indicted for sexually abusing three female students during his time as a teacher.
The defendant allegedly taught each of the victims and while in the classroom, would have them sit on his lap.
He would allegedly kiss their foreheads, hug them for extended periods, and touch them along their thighs.
The first count alleges an incident that took place between February and March of 2018. The other two counts allege that additional incidents of a similar nature with different students took place between September 2018 and June 2019.
Strain had an initial hearing on July 1, 2022. A trial date is currently set in Charles County on October 24th.
One parent at Saint Peter’s School told TheBayNet.com they were upset with the school’s failure to disclose any details sooner and failing to disclose any details to families no longer at the school.
“The school never said anything to the families in 2019,” the parent said in an email. “The school failed this group of students as a whole. They did not notify us of these allegations until we found out through current families that are still there, that more than likely were not even affected by this man.”
The charges were placed against Strain in June of 2022. Saint Peter’s Principal and Pastor sent the following letter to parents on September 22, 2022:
“Dear Parents and Guardians,
We are deeply saddened to inform you that Mr. Matthew Strain, a former staff member of our school, was indicted on three counts of felony sexual abuse of a minor for incidents that are alleged to have occurred in 2018 and 2019 during the time he was employed at Saint Peter School. A trial has been scheduled for October 24, 2022. We continue to monitor the situation and will keep the community apprised of any developments.
Saint Peter’s Parish and School and The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington take seriously our responsibility to protect the children entrusted to our care. Given the gravity of this matter and the Archdiocese’s steadfast commitment to the safety of our youth and healing for those who may have been harmed by abuse, it was important that we share this with you.
The Child Protection & Safe Environment Policy of The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington mandates criminal background checks, applications, and safe-environment education for all employees and volunteers who work with young people, including at the time Mr. Strain.
We encourage anyone with any information that may be helpful in this matter to contact the Charles County State’s Attorney’s office at 301-932-3350.
If at any time you become aware of improper conduct by anyone in archdiocesan ministry, please contact Courtney Chase, Executive Director of the Archdiocese’s Office of Child Protection & Safe Environment, at 301-853-5302.
Please keep in your prayers all who have been affected by this situation. We thank you for your vigilance in our ongoing efforts to keep our young people safe at all times.”
This is a developing story. We will continue to provide additional details on the case as they are made available.
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