Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Teen student defends teacher accused of having sex with her

A 17-year-old girl is standing behind a married teacher accused of having sex with her while she was a high school student, telling a judge in Michigan during his arraignment that he never forced himself on her.
The former student of Tyler David Millward — who lost his job as a science teacher at Athens High School in February — sat with the disgraced teacher’s attorney during his arraignment Monday and told a judge that an order barring contact between her and the 29-year-old teacher wasn’t necessary, the Battle Creek Enquirer reports.
“He has never been a threat and he has never hurt me,” the girl told Magistrate Joe Brutsche. “He never told me to say anything or push me to do anything against my will. I wish to have contact.”
Police arrested Millward late Friday at the girl’s apartment in East Leroy for allegedly having a sexual relationship with the teen from July 2017 through January, beginning when she was 16 years old.
Prosecutors allege Millward — who was scheduled to stand trial next month on a domestic violence charge after an altercation in April with his wife in Springfield — also used his phone to send texts to the girl and lied to police about the messages. He also lied to investigators about taking her to a hotel, prosecutors claim.
“The charges are a result from the investigation that was opened in January 2018, which Millward was involved in a teacher/student relationship,” police said in a statement. “There are several aspects of the investigation that are ongoing.”
Millward lost his teaching job in February during his third year with the district, school officials said Monday. He was arraigned on charges of using a computer to communicate with another to commit the crime of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of lying to police. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
But Millward’s attorney downplayed the accusations, saying he’s no longer a “threat” to anyone since he’s no longer in the classroom.
“The underlying allegations involve a relationship that he allegedly had with a student,” attorney Sarissa Montague told Brutsche. “That is really what is going on here. He is no longer a teacher and the threat of him being a danger is not there.”
Following his arraignment, Montague said Millward is a “respectable citizen” who now wants to move forward with his life.
“These are very complicated legal issues and we are looking forward to dealing with them in court,” Montague told the newspaper. “We are going to have a good outcome for him.”
Brutsche lowered Millward’s bond to $75,000 cash and ordered him to appear for a preliminary examination on July 30. (Via NYP)