Teacher charged in student relationship

CAPE ST. CLAIRE, Md. (WMAR) - Erin Thorne has worked with students in Anne Arundel County for seven years.  Now, the 28 year old is charged with getting too close to a Broadneck High senior.

"As a student, it's just unthinkable. A teacher is seen as like a mother figure or a father figure," said Joseph Decker, a Broadneck High senior.   

Charging documents say the relationship started back in 2010 when Thorne asked the victim to send her naked pictures of himself while she returned the favor.  Police got an anonymous tip in November and suspended Thorne.

"As soon as we learned of the allegation, even long before there was a charge, we took the teacher out of the classroom, separated her from students," said Bob Mosier, Anne Arundel Co. Public Schools spokesman.   

Thorne taught English, was the girls basketball coach, and an advisor for student government. She has spent four years at Broadneck and three at North County High.

Max Junkins says Thorne was well known to his family.

"My brother and all his friends knew her, and they just said it was very unlike her to do something like that," said Junkins.   

A letter went home to parents explaining what students are talking about.  Police say the charges placed on Tuesday are based on the images exchanged when the victim was a minor.

They say a sexual relationship happened once the victim turned 18.  No one answered the door at Thorne's Arnold home. 

"It kind of makes you think what else was she doing if this was the one that was found," said Junkins.     

Police have charged Thorne with solicitation of child pornography and another misdemeanor offense. The Board of Education will determine if she keeps her job.

The Principal of Broadneck issued a statement to the media after the arrest was made. In it, Principal David Smith says:

"We have a great school and a great community that supports our Broadneck students in their individual quests for excellence. It saddens me that charges like this cast a negative light on our school and tarnish the incredible work that our staff, parents, and students do on a daily basis. We are a resilient school, however, and I have no doubt that we will band together so that our students continue to excel." 
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