BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The case shocked Baltimore. A Catholic school teacher convicted of raping students and forcing them into group sex. Now, 17 years later, a federal appeals court considers releasing the teacher from prison. Adam May has outrage from his victims.
“He is the most notorious serial child rapist in Maryland,” said Elizabeth Murphy.
Murphy is on a mission to keep John Merzbacher locked up for the rest of his life. In 1995, the Locust Point Catholic school teacher was sentenced to four life terms for repeatedly raping Murphy at gunpoint when she was just 12 years old.
“My childhood cannot be restored. I can do what I’m doing today to make sure he never does this to another child,” Murphy said.
Merzbacher is appealing his conviction based on a technicality.
Although he said in 1995, “I didn’t do any of these things,” his new lawyer claims he would have pleaded guilty but his old attorney never told him about a potential plea deal of 10 years.
“I can’t believe the court is entertaining the thought of this appeal. It wastes taxpayer money and harms the victim once again,” Murphy said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind if he gets his freedom, he will rape, torture and possibly murder innocent children,” said Linda Tiburzi.
Tiburzi says she was also sexually assaulted as a student.
WJZ has learned prosecutors are building new cases in case Merzbacher is released.
“If I were given the chance, no doubt in my mind. I would take the stand, testify against him and put him right back where he is,” Tiburzi said.
She and other victims forced to relive their nightmare rallied outside Tuesday’s appeals hearing.
“It certainly never goes away. It stays in the front of your mind,” Tiburzi said.
A ruling from the Federal Appeals court is expected in the next couple of months.
Two former students who claimed they were abused have since committed suicide.