POSTED: 08:41 p.m. HST, Jul 23, 2012
A 61-year-old Maui public school teacher has been placed on unpaid leave as he awaits trial next month in Washington state on charges that he took pictures of a nude 4-year-old girl.
The state Department of Education has not completed its investigation of the incident, Maui District superintendent Bruce Anderson said.
Whitman County prosecutors charged the teacher, Thomas T. Takeuchi, with taking the girl’s photos between July and October 2011. Takeuchi was visiting his family in Washington at the time.
The girl’s mother found the photos in the child’s camera in March and turned them over to police detectives in Pullman, Wash. Takeuchi was arrested May 22 and was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor. He pleaded not guilty on June 7. His jury trial will be held Aug. 20 in Whitman County Superior Court. He was released on his own recognizance.
Takeuchi has been a social studies and science teacher at Maui High School since 1994. Classes at Maui High begin Monday. A substitute has been hired to replace Takeuchi, Anderson said.