Another student of former Tacoma teacher and Sequim High grad Meredith Powell, 24, has gone to police with sexual misconduct allegations.
Powell, who already faces two counts of child rape in the third degree and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, was set for an April 24 trial date in Pierce County Superior Court before the new allegation led to a new trial tentatively set for June 12.
The new charge for sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree comes from a student, 18 at the time of the alleged offense, who was in Powell’s math class in Lincoln High School in Tacoma. He said that sometime between Jan 1, 2013, and April 12, 2013. he sought help to raise his math grade. In one instance she allegedly touched him sexually and said “This stays between us.”
He was embarrassed and did not tell anyone until his mother prompted him after recent news reports about Powell. His mother told detectives she noticed behavior changes in her son last year during this time when he wanted to transfer schools, which he did on April 12, 2013.
Powell, a 2007 Sequim High School graduate and University of Idaho graduate, had been teaching math at Lincoln since Sept. 4, 2012, before resigning shortly after the allegations came forward. She was on unpaid leave.
She pled not guilty to the first three charges in Pierce County Superior Court on Feb. 7, a day after being arrested. Powell has been released to her mother in Sequim since then.
Allegations first came out when the Tacoma School District reported Powell to Tacoma Police on Monday, Feb. 4, 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.
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. There were no complaints against her.