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Press Release

Former Teacher Extradited from United Kingdom to Face Charges He Sexually Abused Students

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defendant Worked at Public Charter School in Northwest Washington

            WASHINGTON - Robert Wilson Leach, 33, of Silver Spring, Md., has been extradited from the United Kingdom on charges alleging that he sexually abused his female middle school students while working as a math teacher at a public charter school in Northwest Washington.


            The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Peter Newsham, Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, and Michael Hughes, U.S. Marshal for the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.


            Leach was arrested in July 2015 in the United Kingdom, and has been incarcerated since that time while he contested extradition to the United States for 2 ½ years.  Leach was brought to the United States on Jan. 5, 2018, and made his first appearance in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. He was ordered detained pending a detention hearing set for Jan. 10, 2018, before the Honorable Judge Milton C. Lee.


            The indictment charges Leach with multiple sexual offenses against two children: two counts of first-degree sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, one count of second-degree child sexual abuse with aggravating circumstances, four counts of enticing a child with aggravating circumstances, and sexual performance of a minor.  The indictment also charged Leach with assault as to a third child victim, but that charge was not extraditable.


            According to the government’s evidence, the sexual abuse of Leach’s students began in 2011, when his first victim was 12 years old and in the defendant’s seventh-grade math class at Meridian Public Charter School.  The abuse allegedly continued until Dec. 31, 2013, when another victim’s mother discovered the abuse and threatened to report Leach to the police.  The defendant, a United States citizen, departed the Washington, D.C. area the same day and flew to the Grand Cayman Islands.  He never returned to work at the middle school, and subsequently moved to the United Arab Emirates to work as a teacher.


            An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed a violation of criminal laws and every defendant is presumed innocent until, and unless, proven guilty.


            This case is being investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department.  The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of State provided substantial assistance in securing extradition.   


            Assistance has been provided by the United States Marshals Service, INTERPOL Washington, the United States Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, and the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service.


The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John L. Hill and Julianne Johnston of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, with assistance from Paralegal Specialists Angelina Slagle and Jessica Moffatt and Victim/Witness Advocate Elsa Maltese.

Updated January 8, 2018

Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-4