In one of the most bizarre legal twists in recent years, a Maryland coach who has been accused of having sex with one of his former students once she turned 16 in high school is now fighting for his job back after charges against him were dropped because the age of legal consent in the state of Maryland is 16.
As covered in detail by Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate WJLA and the Washington Post, among other sources, 47-year-old middle school teacher and boys basketball and cross country coach Scott Spear had charges of teen sex abuse against him dropped after prosecutors discovered that the teenager who reported having had sexual contact with Spear was 16 years old, which made any potential interactions technically legal because Spear was not serving as the teenager's primary teacher.
In this case, the fact that Spear is 31 years older than his accuser didn't technically mean that his actions broke the law.
While Spear has continued to deny that the account against him is accurate, though prosecutors dropped the case because any interaction between Spear and the teenager was deemed to be legal, not necessarily because of the teacher and coach's defense.
Meanwhile, now that the charges against him have been dropped, Spear is actively seeking to be reinstated to his former full-time position as a history teacher at Rockville (Md.) Julius West Middle School and as the coach of the cross country and boys basketball teams at Rockville (Md.) Richard Montgomery High.
Understandably, that concept isn't sitting too easily with parents, even if nothing Spear has done could be considered illegal in any way.
"I think I'd want to understand a little more about the whole story," parent Joyce Breiner told WJLA. "I am a bit uncomfortable with the whole idea of a 47 year old and a 16 year old."