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Powell to serve six months in jail

 

A Tacoma judge sentenced Meredith Powell, 25, a former teacher with Sequim roots, to six months in jail on Friday, Aug. 29, after she pleaded guilty to three sex crimes charges on July 23.

Powell was facing up to five years for two counts of child rape in the third degree and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes in Pierce County Superior Court.

Her attorney Wayne Fricke said after Powell's plea that they were seeking six months in jail and three years of sexual offender rehabilitation.

Once released from jail, Powell will register as a sex offender and will not be allowed near minors under 18.

Previously, Powell pleaded not guilty to the three charges in February before a fourth charge arose from a then-18-year-old student, which was dropped on July 23.

Powell is a 2007 Sequim High School graduate and University of Idaho graduate, and had been teaching math at Lincoln High School in Tacoma since Sept. 4, 2012.

Initial allegations emerged when the Tacoma School District reported Powell to Tacoma Police on Monday, Feb. 4, 2014, for an alleged inappropriate contact between her and a 17-year-old student.

Powell had written a letter to the boy’s girlfriend apologizing for “promiscuous” and “unprofessional” comments and texts sent to the boy. She went on unpaid leave Feb. 7 before resigning shortly thereafter.

Powell told police that she gave the boy and two other students her cell number and that on either Jan. 24 or 25, while drunk at home, she exchanged texts with the 17-year-old.

He claimed one text included her home address and that he sensed Powell wanted to have sex with him.

According to court documents, Powell also admitted to kissing a then 15-year-old boy on Jan. 17 in her classroom after an assembly.

The boy told police that on the day of the assembly the two had engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior.

Powell also admitted to kissing and inappropriate touching with him and they began sending inappropriate texts after New Year’s Eve.

Court documents state a second 15-year-old said he and Powell had been sending texts to each other, including her sending him a nude photo.

He said they kissed, touched inappropriately and she performed oral sex on him a few days following the assembly. In a second interview with police, court documents show, Powell confirmed she had performed oral sex on the second 15-year-old boy in her classroom and had engaged in inappropriate touching and sent him nude photos.

Previously, Powell was a student teacher in Sequim High School in the winter of 2012 and a substitute teacher in spring 2012. Sequim School District reports there were no complaints against her during her time as a teacher and that Powell received standard substitute teacher orientation. The three student victims received counseling, Tacoma School District reported, and that crisis counseling was available on Feb. 7 for others in Lincoln High School.

Between court dates, Powell was placed in custody with her mother in Sequim.

 

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