UI graduate, now teacher, faces new accusations

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by JANET KIM / KING 5 News

KREM.com

Posted on April 8, 2014 at 7:38 PM

TACOMA, Wash. - She was trusted to educate children, but more accusations are coming forward against a former Tacoma math teacher.

Meredith Powell was back in court Tuesday, as she answered to a new charge of sexual misconduct with a minor.  Powell also faces three other charges, including two counts of rape of a child and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

KREM 2 News confirmed that Powell graduated from the University of Idaho.

The latest charge came after another student came forward claiming that in 2013 when he came to seek help to bring his grade up, according to court documents, Powell unzipped his pants and touched him inappropriately.

"This victim came forward because of news reports that arose out of other incidents," said Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. "His mother talked to him and said 'hey wasn't this your teacher'?"

However, Powell's attorney remains unconvinced of the new accusation.

"Let's just say basically that this latest accusation have met with a lot of skepticism," said Powell's attorney Wayne Fricke.

Since her release from jail, the prosecution claims she violated a no-contact order with minors when she posted a thank you on the "Free Powell" Facebook page, which was set up by a student.

"When judges say no contact, they mean no contact of any kind, any place, including social media," said Lindquist. "I expect if she violates the judge’s order in any way again, she'll be back in Pierce County Jail."

Despite the prosecution's request for the judge to impose $150,000 bail arguing Powell violated her court order for release, Powell remains free without bail for now.

Tacoma Schools representatives say Powell has resigned and turned in her teaching credentials. Tacoma police believe there could be more charges, possibly even more victims.


 
 

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