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School Employee Arrested for AI Recording

monitor-1307227__480-300x212Baltimore County Police recently secured an arrest warrant for Pikesville High School’s former athletic director, and he was arrested at BWI Airport just one day after the District Court Commissioner signed the warrant.  The defendant was taken in for questioning by TSA after attempting to travel to Houston with a firearm when an issue arose regarding the way the gun was packed.  Law enforcement noticed the warrant while dealing with the firearm and placed the defendant into custody.  He was released later that day on an unsecured bond, which means he was not required to pay a bail bondsman.  In Maryland unsecured bonds only become due if the defendant fails to appear in court, and even then, the State rarely pursues a judgment.  The defendant faces charges for felony theft, disturbing school activities, witness retaliation and stalking, and has his first District Court trial date in June.

The charges stem from an incident back in January that made national headlines when a recording of racists statements allegedly made by the school’s principal began circulating on social media.  The principal denied making the statements from the beginning and police began to investigate the possible use of artificial intelligence to create the recording.  County police detectives consulted with an AI expert from Colorado who has been contracted as an expert by the FBI.  The expert opined that the recording was in fact AI generated and was not a particularly skilled fake, as there was an obvious presence of fabricated background noise.  In addition to investigating the recording, police also were also looking into the motive for the former AD to target his principal.  Police were directed to an open internal investigation where the former AD was accused of improperly compensating his roommate for coaching the girls’ soccer team at PHS.  The roommate was a coach at the school, but never coached girls’ soccer and was never properly contracted to do so as required by Baltimore County Public School policy.  A check for nearly $2k was drafted for the roommate by the former AD, and school administration was potentially in the process of a disciplinary proceedings.  The check written for the roommate is the basis for the felony theft charge and also for the witness retaliation charge, as the principal was the one of the school officials looking into the possible criminal activity regarding the check.

At this time no other individuals have been charged, but police are apparently still investigating.  Charges could potentially be filed against the former AD’s roommate if there is probable cause to believe he was an accomplice to the theft charge.  Accomplice liability for the individuals who spread the fake recording could also potentially trigger criminal charges.  The Blog will continue to follow this case as it presents a host of criminal law issues, including some that we have never seen.  The Baltimore County State’s Attorney’s Office has never prosecuted a case involving an AI generated recording until now.  AI is a valuable tool, but when used maliciously could be quite damaging as we now see.  In the days following the release of the recording the principal received multiple threats and basically had his life turned upside down.  Police were originally investigating the defendant for reckless endangerment for placing the principal in harm’s way, though these charges are not pending at this point.

If you or a loved one has been charged with crime in state or federal court, contact Maryland criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Herbst anytime for a free consultation.  Benjamin has handled just about every type of crime on the books and takes on charges for theft, witness retaliation, stalking, disrupting school activities and reckless endangerment.  He has extensive experience defending domestic violence charges such as assault, protective order violations and malicious destruction of property, and is also a successful Maryland juvenile crimes lawyer.  Contact Benjamin anytime at 410-207-2598 for a free consultation about your case.  If your case is inactive due to a bench warrant or arrest warrant Benjamin will fight to have the warrant recalled and can appear for a loved one’s bail review on short notice if an arrest has already occurred.  The firm offers flexible payment plans for all cases and Benjamin is more than willing to travel to meet in a convenient location.


Police: Purported recording of Pikesville HS principal was not authentic, contained AI content,

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