News and Press Releases

Friday, October 7, 2011

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Former District of Columbia High School Teacher
Sentenced to Jail for Sexually Abusing Student
- First Conviction Under New D.C. Law -

     WASHINGTON - Thomas M. Irvin, 49, of Washington, D.C., a former English teacher at H.D. Woodson Senior High School, must serve nine months in jail and register as a sex offender under terms of a sentence imposed today, following his earlier guilty plea to a charge involving the sexual abuse of one of his students, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

     Irvin pled guilty in June 2011 in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia to a charge of second degree sexual abuse of a secondary education student.

     This is the first conviction under a new District of Columbia law, which took effect in January 2011, that prohibits a teacher, counselor, principal, coach, or other person in a position of authority in a secondary school from engaging in a sexual act or sexual contact with a student enrolled in that school or school system who is under the age of 20.

     The Honorable Thomas J. Motley sentenced Irvin to a total of 24 months of incarceration, but suspended all but nine months of the time. Following his release from jail, Irvin will be placed on two years of probation. He also must be evaluated and receive treatment as a sex offender, submit to DNA testing, undergo a mental health evaluation, and register as a sex offender for 10 years. Irvin also must stay away from the high school and children, except for family members. After his probation, Irvin will be placed on three years of supervised release.

     According to the facts proffered by the government at the plea hearing, in March of 2011, while Irvin was a teacher at Woodson, he sexually abused a student during the school day in a bathroom at the high school, which is located in the 4600 block of Benning Road SE.

     In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen expressed his appreciation to
those who worked on the case from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), including Detectives Doretha Johnson, Darryn Robinson, David Gargac, and Sean Crowley, all of the MPD’s Youth Investigations Division. He also recognized the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, especially John Marsh of the Criminal Investigations Unit, Victim Advocate Veronica A. Vaughan, Paralegal Kristy Penny, and Legal Assistant Nicole Lee. Finally, U.S. Attorney Machen commended Assistant U.S. Attorney HelenAnne Listerman, who investigated and prosecuted the case.



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