Sitka: Sex-contact report forwarded to DA

Posted: Sunday, June 09, 2002

After investigating reports that a male Mount Edgecumbe High School teacher had sexual contact with two female students, police have forwarded the case to the district attorney's office.

"Investigation revealed that the contact was consensual," police said in a news release. "However, due to the fact that the teacher was in a position of authority when the contact occurred, charges are being forwarded to the assistant district attorney's office for review."

The incident reportedly occurred May 6, the Monday prior to MEHS graduation, while the victims were still students, Police Chief Bob Gorder said.

"We got the call May 10, which was graduation day, and we were trying to get all the interviews done since the students were all leaving and flying back to their villages," said Gorder. "One of the victims told her parents, who were in town for graduation. They reported it to us."

The girls were 17 and 18 years old, he said.

The teacher was not identified by police because charges have not been filed against him.

Gorder said the incident did not occur on the MEHS campus.

"It's an ongoing investigation," he said. "Because the teacher was in a position of authority when the contact occurred, it doesn't necessarily matter whether it was consensual or not. It's standard procedure that cases go to the DA's office for review."

MEHS Superintendent Hal Spackman said he could not comment about personnel matters, but said the school has been made aware of the charges.

"We're taking appropriate actions, and the matter will be handled by the courts," he said.

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