A Bel Air High School inclusion helper has been charged with having sex with a 16-year-old student, according to court documents, the second Harford County Public Schools employee in that role to be arrested on similar charges in the last two weeks.
Anthony Leon Farris Jr., 24, of the 1000 block of Pirates Court in Edgewood is charged with the sexual abuse of a minor, fourth degree sex offense, and perverted practice for allegedly having sex with a then-16-year-old female student in his office at the school on several occasions between September and December, according to charging documents filed Friday in Harford County District Court.
Farris was arrested at Harford County Public Schools’ central office on Friday following an investigation by the Bel Air Police Department, the Harford County Child Advocacy Center, and the school systems’ internal investigators, according to HCPS spokeswoman Teri Kranefeld.
Kranefeld said Farris was “no longer an employee of Harford County Public Schools” as of Friday. She said he had been on administrative leave since Jan. 25 pending the results of an internal investigation.
Farris was hired in August 2010 as an inclusion helper, a position which “supports the classroom teacher by providing support to students during instruction, prepares instructional materials for students under the direction of the teacher, and charts data on student progress,” Kranefeld said. He also served as the head coach of the Joppatowne track and field team, and an assistant coach of that school’s football team; Kranefeld could not immediately specify the dates during which he served in those roles.
According to court documents, Farris has been cited for a bevy of traffic offenses in incidents over the last few years including driving with a suspended license and suspended registration, but appears to have had no criminal charges filed against him in this state.
Farris is the second inclusion helper this month to be charged with sex offenses. Amanda Kay Miller, 35, of Whiteford, an inclusion helper at North Harford High School, was charged with four counts of sexual offenses for carrying on a two-month relationship with a 15-year-old student.
Under state law, the charge of sexual abuse of a minor carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison; the charge of perverted practice carries with it a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $1,000; and the charge of fourth degree sexual offense carries a one-year maximum sentence.
Charging documents for Farris appear below: