St. Frances Academy teacher charged with 6 counts relating to sexual abuse minor

(WMAR) - A teacher at Saint Frances Academy in Baltimore has been charged with six counts relating to the sexual abuse of a minor, according to a case study search and confirmed by a statement from school officials.

Ryan Penalver, 28, of Baltimore, was charged with sexual abuse of a minor, third-degree sexual offense, perverted practice, and additional counts. Penalver was a history teacher at the school. 

"Yesterday morning, Saint Frances Academy received an allegation involving Mr. Ryan Penalver, a history teacher at SFA since 2012," Deacon Curtis Turner, Saint Frances  Principal and Head of School, said in a statement released Monday. "Mr. Penalver has been alleged to have engaged in an inappropriate relationship with a student during the current school year."

The statement said that the school reported the allegations to Child Protective Services, and that Penalver was removed immediately and is no longer an employee of the school. The school said they are notifying all current families, prospective students, and alumni of the issue. Current and former students with any further information or allegations are encouraged to share their concerns with the school or local authorities.

"Please know that we do our absolute best to make sure that our teachers and staff are of high moral quality and that they embody the values treasured by this community. As the head of this school, know that I am wholly committed to making sure that the school environment is always a safe one. If you should ever have concerns in this area please report them promptly," Turner's statement said. "It is indeed disturbing to receive this news. Let us, as a school family, pray for all of those involved."

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