ARUNDEL COUNTY, MARYLAND: A former Arundel County, Maryland, high school teacher, has been acquitted of charges of having sex with a student after it was found that the victim who made the allegations lied years ago while under oath in court.
Meredith Susan Barry Martin, 39, who was also a former biology teacher at South River High School, was found not guilty of five counts of having intercourse while in a position of authority, one count of unnatural or perverted practice, and sex abuse of a minor. She was also found not guilty on five counts of sexual offense by a person in authority.
Victim lied under oath
Before the jury at Anne Arundel County Circuit Court deliberated and returned with a not guilty verdict, Thomas Morrow, Martin’s attorney, said in his closing statements that the student who accused his client of sexual abuse had lied under oath in court. “My job is to try and test a witness’ credibility, recollection and establish they aren’t telling the truth,” Morrow said. “I was able to establish the student wasn’t telling the truth.” He pointed out that every witness who testified on Martin’s behalf said she was a “caring teacher.”
Morrow also slammed the prosecutors, saying that he knew they would try to tarnish his client’s credibility. Prosecutors Maria Stamidis and Katherine Smeltzer, both assistant state attorneys, on the other hand, argued in their closing statements that Martin abused her power as a teacher. “This is not a situation he could enter into willingly and he had to confront a trusted person, who was once his favorite teacher,” Stamidis said. She also told the jury that Martin prepared for the case so much that she knew how to respond to her attorney’s questions before he asked them. “She is a teacher, she is used to educating and she was trying to educate the courts on how great she is,” Stamidis said.
Who is Meredith Martin?
Martin, who hails from Davidsonville, worked in Anne Arundel County Public Schools from 2007 to 2019. She also taught special education and science at Chesapeake High School from 2007 to 2012. After that, she worked as a science teacher at South River High School. She has not been employed by Anne Arundel County Public Schools since July 2019.
After a student submitted a written statement to the Anne Arundel County school board claiming they had several sexual encounters in the Davidsonville and Edgewater area, Martin was charged in February 2020. The student told police he was 16 at the time he had sex with Martin three or four times while she was his biology teacher between November and December 2018.
Denying the charges, Morrow said that his client drove the student home because it was a cold day. On another occasion, she let him drive her car in order to help teach him how to drive. He added that the prosecution was building a case to ruin his client’s life and that there was never any inappropriate sexual contact between the suspect and the victim.
According to Stamidis, the student originally held back from saying anything because that was something that was agreed upon between him and Martin. It was why it took the victim a year to admit what happened, Stamidis claimed. The prosecutors also stressed the fact that the student had nothing to gain from lying and that he did not make up his story.