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An actor who appeared in HBO’s hit series “The Wire” is accusing a Maryland middle school employee of repeated sexual abuse while tutoring him as a child.
James Ransone, 41, who played Ziggy Sobotka in HBO’s gritty series on the drug-plagued streets of West Baltimore, posted a lengthy email on Instagram last week that he sent his alleged sexual abuser in March.
“Hey Tim,” the email read. “You may not remember me. My name is James Ransone, but you’d know me as PJ.”
Ransone accused his former tutor, Timothy Rualo — who now reportedly works as the department chair of social studies at Sudbrook Magnet Middle School in Baltimore County — of sexually abusing him numerous times at the actor’s childhood home in Phoenix, Maryland, over the course of six months in 1992.
Ransone said Rualo sodomized him and performed oral sex on him when he was supposed to be helping the youngster with math.
“We did very little math,” Ransone recalled. “The strongest memory I have of the abuse was washing blood and feces out of my sheets after you left. I remember doing this as a 12 year old because I was too ashamed to tell anyone.”
The alleged abuse led to a “lifetime of shame and embarrassment” for Ransone, who told Rualo his actions propelled him to become an alcoholic and a heroin addict. After getting sober in 2006, Ransone said he was “ready to confront” his past. He later reported the accusations to Baltimore County police in March 2020.
A detective then told Ransone in September that prosecutors “had no interest in pursuing the matter any further,” according to his email.
The Baltimore County State’s Attorney Office ultimately did not bring charges following the police investigation, the Baltimore Sun reported Thursday.
Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger told the newspaper his office declined to charge Rualo last year. The prosecutor said he discussed the child abuse accusation solely because Ransone has revealed the allegations publicly.
“It is very difficult, even when you believe the victim, to prove beyond a reasonable doubt,” Shellenberger said of child abuse cases.
Ransone told the Sun he was contacted by Baltimore County Public Schools in October, saying he was asked if had been in a relationship with Rualo and why he waited so long to divulge the accusations. Maryland has no statute of limitations for child sex abuse cases, according to the report.
“Do you not understand how children compartmentalize?” Ransone told the newspaper while accusing school officials and police of failing to protect children after he reported Rualo.
“The entire system allowed him to be around children still,” Ransone said.
A spokesman for Baltimore County Public Schools told The Post Friday that Rualo remained employed by the district, where he has worked since 1992.
Spokesman Charles Herndon declined to indicate whether Rualo was on administrative leave, citing policy on personnel matters. In general, however, any employees alleged to have engaged in misconduct may be put on leave pending investigation, Herndon said.
The principal at Rualo’s school, meanwhile, told parents in a May 17 message that “appropriate and immediate actions” were taken upon learning of the allegations shared on social media, Herndon said.
“The principal also assured parents and the school community that the safety and security of students is always the school’s top priority,” Herndon wrote The Post in an email.
A message left Friday at a number listed to Rualo was not immediately returned. Attempts to reach him Thursday by email, phone and at a dozen addresses were unsuccessful, the Baltimore Sun reported.
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