A former Curtis High School teacher accused of having an illegal sexual relationship with a student was back in court Thursday, this time on charges that he violated a court order to stay away from her.
Michael E. Allen, 33, pleaded not guilty Thursday to violating the court order. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson ordered Allen into custody until he can post $125,000 in bail.
Last month, Allen pleaded not guilty to five counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. He’s accused of having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student while he taught biology at the University Place school.
On Thursday, prosecutors said Allen violated terms of his release by meeting with and having a phone conversation with the girl. The court had ordered Allen to refrain from contacting her while he awaits trial, and to not contact potential witnesses in his trial.
In court documents, prosecutors say police learned from Allen’s wife that he allegedly set up a Twitter account, where he appeared to communicate with a friend of the girl. Police contacted the girl’s mother, who said she caught her daughter talking on a cellphone and that the girl admitted she was talking to Allen.
Court records say the girl told police she knew about Allen’s Twitter account, but that she had not communicated with him through the account.
However, prosecutors allege that Allen appeared to have contacted a friend of the girl through Twitter. They contend that the friend delivered a pre-paid phone to the girl, and that the friend drove the girl to an area where she and Allen could meet up in her car. Prosecutors did not contend that the two had sex on this occasion.
Deputy prosecuting attorney Sabrina Ahrens also quoted Thursday from portions of a letter she said Allen sent to the girl’s mom.
“I want you to know that her age had nothing to do with me falling in love with her,” she quoted. “I fell in love with your daughter, not with her age.”
Both the judge and Allen’s defense attorney admonished Allen.
“Either you have no concern with the court’s order, or you have an inability to comply with the law,” Cuthbertson said. He added that sending a letter to the girl’s mother also violated the court’s prohibition against contacting potential witnesses.
Allen’s attorney Donald Winskill told the judge that when he heard the recent allegations, he told his client that such behavior would be “unacceptable,” and that if similar allegations surface again he would tell Allen to get a new lawyer.
Allen’s trial, originally set for April, is now scheduled for June 11.