A Winslow man charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student at Waldo County Technical Center in Waldo, where he was a teacher, plans to plead not guilty in court Thursday, his lawyer said.
Michael Gagnon, 46, was charged with class C gross sexual assault on April 4. His lawyer, Walter McKee, of Augusta, said in an email Wednesday that he plans to enter a not guilty plea during his first court appearance in Waldo County District Court on Thursday.
Gagnon, a teacher and softball coach in Waldo County schools, is accused of sexually assaulting a female student during school hours. He would allegedly leave the automotive technology class he taught at the Waldo County Technical Center in Waldo to go on “test drives” with the girl, which is where the assaults took place, according to allegations filed in court.
Under Maine law, it’s a class C crime for someone employed by a school district who has “instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority over” a student under 18 to have sexual contact with the student.
The center is an alternative high school for students from three school districts. After his arrest, Gagnon was put on leave from his teaching position. He was also suspended from his position as softball coach at Mount View High School in Thorndike.
A grand jury in Waldo County indicted Gagnon on a charge of gross sexual assault earlier this month, according to Waldo County District Attorney Geoffery Rushlau.
An indictment in not an indication of guilt, but indicates that there is enough evidence in a case to go to trial.
Trial in the case would not be scheduled until August or later, said Rushlau.
In the meantime, Gagnon has been released on bail. He is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in Waldo County District Court.
Rachel Ohm — 612-2368 | firstname.lastname@example.org