Listen to this articleAward-Winning Watkins Mill Wellness Center Staffer Arrested On Charges Of Sexual Misconduct
Former Contractor of Watkins Mill High School’s Wellness Center Arrested on Sexual Offense Charges
Police arrested and charged Clarence Maurice McNeary III, a 24-year-old contractor from Watkins Mill High School’s wellness center, with two counts of fourth-degree sexual offense on Tuesday. Police records indicate that McNeary committed sexual acts with a minor victim who was a student at the school where he held a position of authority.
Clarification of the Headline Update
At 4:40 p.m., the article updated its headline to clarify that McNeary worked for 480 Club at a DHHS-funded school-based wellness center and not as an employee of MCPS.
McNeary’s Role at Watkins Mill High School
McNeary served as a youth development specialist at Watkins Mill High’s wellness center. He was a contractor with 480 Club, a non-profit organization that contracts with Identity, another non-profit organization, to provide services to students and families at the MCPS wellness centers. The victim disclosed to the police that she first contacted McNeary seeking counseling services. They began talking and texting regularly, and two months into the school year, their relationship turned sexual.
Sexual Offense Charges
The police investigation began on December 13, 2022, after a 16-year-old victim alleged that McNeary had sexually abused her in the wellness center on multiple occasions. The charging documents from the State’s Attorney’s Office show that McNeary allegedly forced the victim to her knees and perform sex acts on him until she gagged.
Recognition and Awards
The school district recognized McNeary last year as a youth development specialist at Watkins Mill and awarded him with a distinguished service award.He implemented curriculum-based programs such as goal setting, leadership, sexual health, and Black male empowerment. He played a vital part in the student ambassador program that provided stipends for students to take a leadership role in food insecurity and vaccination clinic outreach.
Termination of Employment
Jessica Baxter, spokesperson for MCPS, confirmed that MCPS no longer employs McNeary, and that the district had no knowledge of his arrest. Carolyn Camacho, a representative from Identity, confirmed that McNeary worked as a contractor for 480 Club and that Identity never directly employed him. Camacho also confirmed that McNeary has not provided services at the wellness center since the accusation was brought to light.
480 Club Founder’s Response
Joseph Hooks, founder and director of 480 Club, stated that they terminated McNeary’s contract immediately in December 2022 when the accusations were first brought to their attention.Hooks wrote that 480 Club takes all allegations seriously and complies annually with MCPS background checks. He added that due to the open investigation and pending court date, 480 Club has no further comment until the case completely adjudicated.
In Maryland, a fourth-degree sex offense is classified as a misdemeanor charge and carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a $1,000 fine, or both. Furthermore, if convicted, the defendant must be listed in the state sex offender registry for 15 years.