A former teacher at a private Christian school who is facing criminal charges for an alleged sexual relationship with a 15-year-old female student is expected to plead guilty later this month.

Derek Michael Boyce, 37, was arrested in September after the girl’s mother caught him at her Lisbon home with her daughter and called police, according to an affidavit filed in court. A grand jury indicted Boyce in December on more than two dozen charges that include gross sexual assault, sexual abuse of a minor and unlawful sexual contact.

Androscoggin County District Attorney Andrew Robinson confirmed that a plea and sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 30. He declined to comment further because the case is still open. Defense attorney Heidi Pushard, who is representing Boyce, did not return a request for comment Thursday.

Boyce has been held at the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $50,000 bail. He worked as a math teacher at Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, a private Seventh-day Adventist school with students in kindergarten through 12th grade. He was placed on leave and banned from the school campus when he was arrested in September. He was later fired.

The affidavit shows Boyce admitted to his relationship with the girl during his initial interview with police. He said he and the girl began communicating via social media messaging apps, and they first had sexual contact in July. He said the contact was consensual and did not involve drugs or alcohol.

Police said the girl’s mother had previously raised concerns with the school that Boyce was spending too much time alone with her daughter. A spokesperson for Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists did not return a request for comment Thursday.

According to the state Department of Education, Boyce is not a certified teacher with the state, but private schools are not required to hire certified teachers. Boyce has no prior criminal history in Maine, according to the State Bureau of Identification.

Megan Gray can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: mainemegan

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