AUGUSTA — A science teacher at Gardiner Area High School has been charged with sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl, allegedly plying her with alcohol at her home before assaulting her.

John M. Glowa Jr., 43, of Readfield, who has been employed by the school district for the last decade, faces two counts of gross sexual assault and one of furnishing liquor to a minor.

Glowa was arrested Tuesday by Maine State Police Detective Ryan Brockway and was held at the Kennebec County jail in Augusta in lieu of $10,000 bail, which was set in the arrest warrant.

At Glowa’s initial court appearance Wednesday at the Capital Judicial Center via video from the jail, Assistant District Attorney Carie James asked Judge Thomas Nale to set Glowa’s bail at $25,000 in cash. She requested bail conditions prohibiting him from contact with minors under 18, as well as from possession and use of alcohol. James cited the seriousness of the charges as her reason for seeking the high bail and noted he was a teacher.

Attorney Erik Paulson, acting as lawyer for the day, asked for a lower bail, saying Glowa was unable to make the $10,000 already set. Paulson suggested $7,500 cash or $50,000 worth of real estate and noted that Glowa has no criminal record. Paulson also asked that Glowa be permitted contact with his own children.

Nale denied both requests, instead setting bail at $50,000 cash and prohibiting Glowa from contact with all children, including his own. Glowa’s next court appointment is scheduled for April 10.


Glowa, who has been employed since 2008 by School Administrative District 11, was “immediately placed on administrative leave” and banned from having contact with students there and from being on the premises, according to a statement released by Superintendent Patricia Hopkins.

The girl identified as the victim attends a different school, not Gardiner Area High School, Hopkins confirmed.

An affidavit by Brockway, which was filed with the case, says the sexual assault occurred Jan. 23, a day many schools were closed because of snowfall, in a home in Mount Vernon.

One of the allegations against Glowa is that he “did substantially impair” the girl’s ability to react to the situation by giving her intoxicants. The other says he was a person “responsible for the long-term care of welfare” of the girl.

Brockway wrote that the girl, who was upset and crying, told her boyfriend of the assaults later that night, and he reported it to his father, who contacted an off-duty Maine State Police trooper. The Department of Health and Human Services also was contacted about the case, and Brockway said it was decided that the boyfriend’s father could bring the girl to his home for the night “because she didn’t feel safe at her residence.”

Brockway said the girl told him Glowa had given her several alcoholic drinks while they ate pizza and watched a movie, and then the sexual assaults occurred while she was drunk.


She said afterward she vomited because of the alcohol, and Glowa told her to tell her mother she was ill, which she did when her mother returned home.

She told Brockway she called her boyfriend after Glowa left the home.

Brockway also said he obtained video footage from Jan. 23 at Flying Pond Variety in Mount Vernon, showing Glowa purchasing a bottle of whiskey and a bottle of vodka as well as four 24-ounce cans of Twisted Tea and a pizza.

The girl also told police and others that Glowa had given her alcohol to drink previously, starting last fall, when her mother was away on a business trip, and had told her not to tell her mother.

Hopkins said Wednesday morning that schools officials “will monitor this case closely, and will determine as soon as we can, how we will address the personnel matter.

“We must respect the integrity of the investigation by law enforcement as well as the legal rights, including confidentiality, of the employee. At all times, however, the safety and welfare of our students will remain paramount and will guide our actions going forward.”


In a letter sent Wednesday to parents, Hopkins also encouraged any students who are concerned to contact a school guidance counselor or administrator.

“Teachers have been asked not to discuss this matter in class as it is a personnel matter and may disrupt the teaching and learning process,” she wrote.

In Gardiner, police Chief James Toman said Wednesday afternoon that he had not received any calls from parents concerned about the arrest.

Toman said that parents and guardians need to have conversations with their children about appropriate boundaries in their interactions with adults.

“Whether it’s a teacher, a coach, a relative, a neighbor or whatever, you have to reinforce boundaries about what is appropriate and what kids should be looking out for,” he said. “Kids need to know it’s OK to turn to a parent or a trusted adult and report what they’re feeling and what they have seen. It goes along with ‘see something, say something.’ ”

Erin Finch, who has three sons in Gardiner-area schools, including the high school, said Wednesday that her family has been talking about personal safety.


“My children are well-educated,” Finch said. “They have good boundaries, but they are children.”

She said she’s not worried about her kids going to school.

“(The school) will do a great job, and they will take the appropriate steps,” she said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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