Teacher's bond hearing delayed for a second time
Aug. 16, 2000
Theodore Kim
Staff Writer




Peay charged for having sex with

12-year-old student

The bond hearing for a Sligo Middle School English teacher arrested last week for having sex with a 12-year-old male student has been delayed until Friday.

Catherine Kabiah Peay, 37, was charged last Friday with second-degree rape, child abuse and two separate counts of sexual offense, after county Park Police found her and the boy hiding in a car at 3:15 a.m. in a Wheaton park, authorities said.

Peay's bond hearing was set for late Tuesday afternoon in Rockville, but her lawyer asked for more time to round up witnesses.

It is the second time this week the hearing has been postponed.

On Monday, District Court Judge Mary Beth McCormick ordered the bond hearing delayed until Tuesday so Peay could get a lawyer.

Bond for Peay has been set at $500,000.

Meanwhile, the offense marks the second time in the past month that a teacher in Montgomery County has been arrested for sex crimes involving a student.

Last month, a male gym teacher at a Rockville high school was charged for making sexual advances toward four female students earlier this year.

Capt. Bill O'Toole, a county police spokesman, said he was concerned there may be other victims in Peay's case, although the investigation, to this point, has not yielded any such evidence.

"When you're talking about such a vulnerable age," O'Toole said, "where there is such an age difference, and that [Peay] was in a position of responsibility and crossed the line of acceptable behavior, it's a very, very serious situation. ... It's a disturbing incident, clearly."

When Peay and the boy were found Friday by Park Police, Peay contended she was the boy's godmother and that she was mentoring him, according to charging documents. The boy, however, said he and Peay had been kissing and they had been naked together, according to the documents.

Their inconsistent accounts compelled police to investigate further, authorities said.

Peay later admitted she and the student had sex "about four times" since the beginning of July, according to court documents. Peay and the boy would meet by a street corner at night without the permission of the boy's parents, the documents revealed.

Peay had finished her first year as an English teacher at Sligo Middle School, and was teaching summer classes at the school when she met the boy, according to court documents.

Kate Harrison, a spokeswoman for Montgomery County Public Schools, said Peay, before becoming a teacher at Sligo Middle School, had substituted as an instructional assistant at John F. Kennedy High School in Silver Spring.

Peay was fully qualified and had cleared a stringent background test before entering the school system, Harrison said.

"Sometimes," Harrison said, "despite all the checks, people slip through."

Peay has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation, Harrison said.

If convicted on all charges, Peay could face up to 65 years in prison.

Peay's last known address was in the 12200 block of Dalewood Drive in Silver Spring, although she currently has no fixed home, authorities said.

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