UPDATE (12:30 p.m. April 22)—A felony charge against Erin Thorne, a former English teacher at Broadneck High School has been dropped, according to Maryland court records. A misdemeanor charge of displaying obscene material to a minor remains.
Kristen Fleckenstein, spokesperson for the State's Attorney's Office, said the felony charge was dropped during the course of the state's investigation. According to court records, the charge was formally dropped Friday.
"Count number 2 (solicitation) only was dropped," Fleckenstein said. "This was done in the continuing course of the investigation as we prepared the case further."
Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) spokesman Bob Mosier said Thorne resigned her position with the school on April 8. Before then, she had been on administrative leave since November 2012 pending the ongoing investigation.
In March, Thorne was arrested and charged with exchanging sexually explicit text messages and images with a student.
Thorne, 28, of the 700 block of Rusack Court in Arnold, was charged with displaying obscene material to a minor and felony solicitation of child pornography. A statement from police said the minor involved graduated from the school in 2011, and is now an adult.
Authorities said that when the minor was a senior at the school, he and Thorne exchanged text messages and images, and after the student was an adult, became engaged in sexual activity.
According to court documents, Thorne was charged with displaying "an obscene picture of a nude figure," and permitted the minor to "engage as a subject in the production of obscene matter, to wit: nude photos."
Thorne was placed on administrative leave by the Anne Arundel County Public School System in November 2012 pending an investigation. On Monday, she surrendered to authorities. Thorne was a long-term substitute teaching English to Broadneck students and was also a former basketball coach at the school.
A letter was issued to parents Monday saying Thorne will be suspended while the Board of Education seeks to terminate her employment. The letter was signed by both Superintendent Kevin Maxwell and BHS Principal David G. Smith.
"We encourage you to discuss this matter with your children as well, and contact our school counselors if your children need support. While this entire situation brings up many troubling emotions, we urge you to keep in mind the sensitivity of this situation. As the legal proceedings play out, our children and their welfare should continue to be our focus."