LA PLATA, Md. - A Charles County science teacher is set to go on trial later this month for the alleged sexual abuse of two of his students.
Ronald Wells was removed from Henry E. Lackey High School back in May 2016 and indicted eight months later. However, his charges were never made public by the county’s sheriff's office or Charles County Public Schools.
FOX 5 first learned about this case Thursday night after a concerned citizen alerted us to the charges.
According to the documents filed in court, a 17-year-old student told police on his birthday in April of last year that he went looking for a cake another student put under his desk in his science class. But when he couldn't find it, his teacher, Wells, said the cake was in the supply closet. Once inside the closet, the student said Wells asked to see his genitals. The student then left.
The court document filed in the case says, "The defendant is an adult teacher at Lackey High School. During the time of this incident the defendant has due care and custody of the victim due to him being a teacher and the victim being a student.”
The indictment filed in the case indicates there is a second victim.
Wells has been on paid administrative leave for more than a year and his trial is scheduled to start July 18.
In a statement to FOX 5's Paul Wagner, Wells' attorney, Thomas Morrow, said, “Mr. Wells emphatically denies the charges and looks forward to a jury hearing the truth at trial.”
The case against Wells only came to light after the Charles County Sheriff's Office revealed it had filed sexual assault charges against a former HIV positive teacher’s aide who is accused of videotaping numerous sexual assaults of young boys inside a classroom at Benjamin Stoddert Middle School.
As far as releasing information on Wells, a spokesperson for the Charles County Sheriff's Office said they were unaware of the charges being filed. It could be the fact that eight months went by from the time the allegation was made until charges were filed, and then the indictment didn't come down until January of this year.
A Charles County Public Schools spokesperson told FOX 5 they did not put out any information to students and parents at the high school because it was an allegation at the time.
"We did not send out a letter in January because he had not been at a school for more than eight months and he had not been at the school all this school year," a Charles County Public Schools spokesperson said.