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Teacher Facing Sex Offense Charges Has Trial Postponed

February 10th, 2015 by WCBC Radio

The trial of Mountain Ridge teacher Bart Mazer, charged with two fourth-degree sex offenses involving alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a 17-year-old female student at the school in October and November 2013, has been postponed. The Cumberland Times News reports the jury trial had been scheduled to begin Wednesday, but was rescheduled for March 24 during a Tuesday morning status hearing presided over by Allegany County Circuit Court Judge W. Timothy Finan. Attorneys said they are attempting to negotiate a plea agreement resolving those charges and and a similar charge involving another student. “We’re trying … nothing has been set in stone,” said Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Jacqueline R. Brandlen. A status conference for both cases was set for March 3, with a new trial date for March 24. The extra time will allow attorneys to plow through 10,000 pages of evidence seized from Mazer’s computer files and cell phone records. Initial charges were filed in September against Mazer after investigation by the C3I Unit. Mazer later was charged with a third-degree sex offense involving another female student of the school. Mazer has pleaded not guilty to all the charges. Mazer appeared with his attorney, R. Steven Friend. Mazer, 43, of Frostburg, was indicted by the grand jury in November for alleged inappropriate sexual contact with a female Mountain Ridge High student who was 15 at the time of the alleged offense in March 2013. That charge also was filed following a C3I investigation. Mazer posted $20,000 bond for his pretrial release following his arrest in September. His bond remains at that amount, pending disposition of the charges filed in September and by indictment. Mazer has been placed on administrative leave without pay by the Allegany County Board of Education. The board along with the administration of Mountain Ridge High School is cooperating with the investigation. The prosecution has formally requested information from the Board of Education as part of the investigation. The board has reportedly given verbal assurance to the Office of the State’s Attorney of its compliance in providing the requested documents. Necessary legal steps have been taken by the Office of the State’s Attorney to obtain the documents, according to prosecutors.

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