During his initial appearance in Worcester County District Court on behalf of Stephen Decatur High School teacher Austin Martin, defense attorney John Phoebus on Monday revealed his client had been indicted by the grand jury and the matter will now be handled by the circuit court.
Martin, 27, of Ocean Pines, had faced two charges — sex abuse of a minor and sexual solicitation of a minor — that could have carried maximum penalties of up to 35 years in jail and a $25,000 fine.
Phoebus said, and the state’s attorney agreed, that the sexual solicitation charge would not be pursued by the prosecution. The maximum penalty for that charge is 10 years in jail and the fine. Martin still faces a potential 25-year sentence for his relationship with his 17 year-old teacher’s aide.
The two allegedly had a relationship that spanned six months, dating back to April or May of this year, when the student “confided in Martin about her relationship” with an ex-boyfriend.