Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, May 23, 2019

Retired AU professor charged with committing child rape in the 1970s

Retired AU professor Elliott McGinnies has been charged with the second-degree rape of a child in the 1970s.

The alleged rape took place at McGinnies’ Takoma Park home from 1975 to 1977, according to the charges filed Sept. 2 in the Montgomery County District Court. McGinnies joined AU’s faculty in 1970 and was chair of the psychology department for part of his time at the school. He is 93 years old.

In Maryland, there is no statute of limitations for rape.

The survivor, who is now 47 and living in Orlando, Florida, told ABC 7 that she was McGinnies’ “sex partner.” She also said that she reported the crime for years but no one would take her seriously.

"He was very articulate, very intelligent,” the survivor told ABC 7. “You have to remember he was a psychology professor. He knew how to fool people and he absolutely fooled everybody."

McGinnies’ daughter told ABC 7 that her father has dementia and that the allegations are “ridiculous, incredible and untrue.”

McGinnies was also charged in May 1986 with one count of child abuse and one count of a third degree sexual offense for fondling a 9-year-old girl, according to court filings. The alleged abuse in that case occurred at Pine Tree Associates family recreational camp, a nudist resort in Crownsville, Maryland that McGinnies frequented, The Eagle previously reported.

“The allegations are false,” he said at the time, “and all this publicity just makes it more difficult for me. I can’t explain this a thousand times.”

In July of the same year, the case was dismissed, The Eagle also reported.

McGinnies retired from AU in 1987, and is listed on the University’s website as a “Professor Emeritus.”

His trial is scheduled for Oct. 1 in Rockville, Maryland.

dmudry@theeagleonline.com


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