Longtime child sex offender who worked in church schools found living in house full of kids; long record of light sentencing by Judge Abrams
LEONARDTOWN, MD. A man who had worked at his family’s church in Oakville and in a Waldorf church school had been released from prison and ordered to stay away from children, was arrested once again for molesting a child while at his job in a St. Mary’s County motel. The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office Sex Offender Compliance Unit reports that a Tier III lifetime registered sex offender, Cleveland Dwight Hall II, 36, was living at a residence filled with small children in Leonardtown but was registered under a Calvert County address.
Hall is a serial child molester that prosecutors and judges in St. Mary’s County just can’t see their way clear to keep behind bars.
St. Mary’s Sheriff Tim Cameron reports that numerous children under the ages of 10 were inside the residence where Hall was staying. Hall was located at the residence on March 25, 2016, and taken to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center where he was charged with failing to notify the sex offender registry of a temporary address change.
Hall is being held without bond pending a bond review with a district court judge.
Child Molester Worked at Waldorf School as Substitute Teacher
WALDORF — A St. Mary’s County man who was arrested while on work release for child molesting in 2010 on charges of assaulting a 3-year-old girl at a motel on Rt. 235 in California, Md., worked at a Charles County church-affiliated school in 2010.
“When I saw his face in the paper it made my heart jump,” said a parent who read the story of Cleveland Hall Jr.’s arrest after being allowed work release by St. Mary’s Circuit Court Judge Karen Abrams.
Pastor Ron Harris of the Waldorf Christian Academy told ST. MARY’S TODAY that his school does perform criminal background checks on teachers and the check on Hall didn’t reveal any prior convictions.
“He was never a full-time teacher here and he was always supervised,” said Pastor Harris. “He didn’t exhibit any behavior here.”
Pastor Harris said, “If we had known this, we would never have had him working here.”
The parent, who read of Hall’s prior instances of molesting children through his association with the Hollywood Worship Center in Oakville, said he immediately talked to his daughter to find out if she had been fondled.
“Hall did take a liking to my daughter,” said the parent, who said he would likely move his child from the school. “We are going to reevaluate if our daughter is going to stay in this school.”
The parent said that Hall was his daughter’s teacher for a year up until the summer camp program in June of this year.
Major Buddy Gibson of the Charles County Sheriff’s Department said at the time of the arrest in 2010 that detectives would be contacting the school immediately to determine if any students were assaulted by Hall.
The Waldorf Christian Academy was founded by Pastor Harris about ten years ago and is associated with the New Hope Church of God located at Rt. 925 and Billingsley Road in Waldorf.
Hall was sentenced to five years in prison on August 28th after a plea agreement to second-degree assault with 3 ½ years suspended and 1 year in prison on a fourth-degree sex offense with work release allowed and Judge Abrams ordering that Hall is allowed parole.
Hall was ordered to be registered as a child sex offender but was allowed to work as a security guard at the Patuxent Inn hotel located on Rt. 235 in California, where he once again assaulted a child.
After prior instances of molesting children at the daycare center, his mother ran, her license was suspended and he then was allowed to work at the church daycare, according to parents who had children at the center and were members of the church.
Parents said that Hall’s parents sent them a letter saying that their son was innocent and the church was being persecuted.
One parent said that she and her daughter went to St. John’s Pharmacy (now CVS) in Hollywood, Md., after he was charged and he was stocking shelves at the pharmacy, where he called out her daughter’s name, terrifying her. Hall worked at the pharmacy after the incident in the mid-nineties. Hall also worked at Wal-Mart as a security guard and was a substitute teacher at Greenview Knolls Elementary School.
St. Mary’s School Superintendent Dr. Michael Martirano told ST. MARY’S TODAY that Hall had worked at the school up until 2005.
“We work hard to prepare proper background checks and prevent those with criminal backgrounds from entering our schools and we will be reviewing this incident to see what happened and increase our levels of security,” said Dr. Martirano.
A parent whose daughter was assaulted by Hall said that Hall had maintained a My Space account with pictures of girls from his classes at Greenview Knolls under a listing called “my girlfriends.”
Michelle Young, a parent of one child who was assaulted, said that she was promised that Hall would serve the full five-year sentence and not get out on parole. “His parents should be ashamed of themselves,” said Young.
Hall had been indicted for molesting the child at the motel which had formerly operated under the name of the Patuxent Inn on June 1, 2011. In a plea deal with St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz on Sept 20, 2011, Hall was given five years in the Maryland prison system with no time suspended.
The plea deal with Fritz that called for five years in prison proved to be, once again, a deal that was as good as the paper it was written on in the Alice in Wonderland Judiciary of Maryland as on Sept. 14, 2014, during the time Hall should have been in prison, he was stopped for speeding on Rt. 261 at Beach Drive in Calvert County by Maryland State Trooper J. Warrick.
He had been registered as living at 3931 16th Street in Chesapeake Beach.
Even though Judge Abrams and St. Mary’s States Attorney Richard Fritz are both responsible for allowing Hall to spend very little time behind bars for serial child molesting offences, they both competed in a 2004 election for the same seat on the Circuit Court that Abrams won that year and will remain in for another three years. Fritz lost a three-way race against Abrams, arguing that she was just too liberal and allowed criminals to get off easy and that all of her experience was in civil legal work. In that most recent easy deal, the light sentence was approved by Fritz.