A former middle school teacher at the Gilman School has spoken out for the first time since he was accused of sexually abusing a teen and indicted by a grand jury in February.
Chris Bendann, 38, of Towson, posted a statement to his Facebook and Instagram accounts Tuesday maintaining his innocence in the case. He is accused of sexually abusing a student between 2016 and 2019, and was indicted on 16 counts including sexual abuse of a minor, rape and related offenses.
“Again, I want friends and family to know that these allegations are false,” he wrote in the statement. “Unfortunately, I am now one of the 3,337 people who have been wrongly accused in this great country since 1989. Like those people, I expect that, in the end, the truth will show that I am innocent.”
Bendann also wrote that while he is “deeply disappointed with the leadership and administration at Gilman, I hope that, in the end, my reputation will be restored.”
“Sadly in a court of public opinion, one is guilty until proven innocent,” he continued. “That is wrong. I know that many rumors have circulated about this case. While my accuser has had free reign to share his narrative through his lawyer, I will have my day in court and set the record straight.”
Bendann’s Instagram account is private, meaning the post is only visible to his roughly 800 followers. The statement was posted privately to Facebook, visible to his 1,600-some friends. The Banner has verified the authenticity of the posts.
Bendann taught social studies at the Gilman School, a private, independent all-boys school in Roland Park in Baltimore from 2007 to 2023, according to his LinkedIn page. He taught social studies and held other roles, such as admissions officer.
He was arrested on Feb. 3 after a former student said during a forensic interview with investigators that Bendann started sexually abusing him in the eighth or ninth grade, Baltimore County Police said. Court records say Bendann was 32 at the time and the alleged victim was 15.
Bendann provided alcohol to children and drove them to the St. Paul’s Schools and the nearby Meadowood Regional Park in Timonium, according to the charging documents, and then “requested the children remove their clothing and run around the location naked in front of him.”
Eventually, court documents say, Bendann began seeking nude photos from the victim and threatened to circulate the images when the the former student tried to block Bendann from contacting him. He also would become angry if the former student refused to engage in nudity and sexual acts, the documents said.
At other times, Bendann would touch the student in sexually inappropriate ways, according to the charging documents.
At a court hearing in May, Assistant State’s Attorney John Magee said police have interviewed multiple people who alleged “at a minimum, inappropriate conduct” against Bendann.
Bendann’s lawyer, Kobie Flowers, did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.
Bendann was released from the Baltimore County Detention Center earlier this year and placed on pretrial supervision. Another motion hearing is scheduled for July 18, and the trial is scheduled to begin August 16, according to online court records.