Former Jefferson School employee pleads for child sexual abuse

Nov. 26 — A former Jefferson School employee awaits conviction for child sexual abuse and student after arguing in Frederick County Circuit Court.

Wesley J. Dean, 34, pleaded Alford – in which a defendant does not admit guilt but concedes the prosecution has enough evidence to secure a conviction – to one count of child sexual abuse November 15. His sentencing is scheduled for January 4. He remains free on bail, with conditions.

Dean was one of three Jefferson School employees accused of sexually abusing a minor and a student at the school. Jermaine D. Thomas was sentenced on September 27 to three years in prison after pleading guilty to sexually abusing and filming a student. Ariel C. Eppard was sentenced on March 19 to 18 months after pleading guilty to child sexual abuse.

When the Frederick County State Attorney’s Office announced the charges in September 2019, Dean was charged with committing sexual offenses against minors on the school campus in the 2900 block of Point of Rocks Road in Jefferson. According to the indictment, Dean abused a girl from November 1, 2018 to or around May 30, 2019, while he was temporarily responsible for the child.

The Jefferson School, operated by Sheppard Pratt, closed in 2020, citing COVID-19 and declining enrollment as factors. It opened in 1996 and served people aged 10 to 21 who suffered from behavioral and emotional disorders.

Robin Ficker, Dean’s lawyer, said in an interview that his client was “very remorseful”.

“He’s a good family man, he has kids,” Ficker said. “I think it was completely out of character for him.”

Follow Mary Grace Keller on Twitter: @MaryGraceKeller


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