Carroll County Kids for Equity released a “Public Statement Regarding the Recent Allegations of Sexual Solicitation of a Minor” on April 1, 2023. Here is the text of that statement:
We at Carroll County Kids for Equity, are deeply disturbed and saddened by the recent news surrounding Katie Speert, the founder and Executive Director of Together We Own It, who has been named as a suspect in the alleged sexual solicitation of a minor. The victim of this case is a prominent activist within our organization and an advocate for empowering youth. The victim has shared her story with us in regards to this situation and the detrimental effects as a result. We take these accusations extremely seriously and want to make it clear that we do not condone any behavior that could harm or exploit youth in any way.
The work of education equity and empowerment of student voices is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted approach.lt is not simply ensuring equitable access to education and resources within the walls of a school building, but to also advocate for every student’s needs. It is crucial to address the issue presented in this situation in order to truly advocate for all youth voices. The accusations made in this case have become personal to our student group.
At this time, we want to reiterate the information obtained from a redacted report from the Sheriff’s Office. It is alleged that a certified professional pursuing a doctorate degree in community care and counseling, engaged in sexting via Instagram Messenger with a seventeen-year-old girl who volunteered at the non-profit. The Sheriff’s Office presented the case to the Carroll County State’s Attorney Haven Shoemaker, but due to Maryland’s age of consent being sixteen, the State’s Attorney was unable to pursue criminal charges. As a result, this case has been dropped and no criminal charges are being pursued.
We understand that this news may be distressing for our community, especially for those who have supported and worked with Together We Own It. We would like to emphasize that Together We Own It is a great organization that provides needed support to the youth in our community. Their cause and programs are an essential part of empowering young people. This statement by no means is an attack on the organization itself or the accused but rather an emphasis on leading the way in victim support.
We want to make it abundantly clear that based on the story shared with us, we at Carroll County Kids for Equity believe the victim and encourage others to stand by her. It takes a great deal of courage for anyone in such situations to come forward and share their story. Empowering youth voices is necessary in supporting young victims in distressing situations. If you are someone involved in such situations, please know that help is out there. We encourage you to reach out for support from the community and through the people you trust.
Here is the post from Facebook with the images of the statement:
Carroll County Kids for Equity is “a student-led and student-created organization aimed to drive lasting changes to promote a culture of equitable education through empowering student advocacy”. Learn more from their website: https://sites.google.com/view/carroll-kids-for-equality/home
Here are previous articles on this story from Carroll County Observer and Maryland Muckraker: