POSTED: 9:50 a.m. HST, Aug 19, 2013
LAST UPDATED: 8:53 p.m. HST, Aug 19, 2013
A former teacher at an Oahu private school pleaded not guilty today to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old student on two occasions this summer.
Trial for William E. Plourde, 53, was set for the week of Oct. 21 before Circuit Judge Glenn Kim.
Plourde entered his plea via closed-circuit teleconference call from Oahu Community Correctional Center, where he remains in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Myles Breiner, Plourde’s attorney, told reporters after the brief hearing that Plourde had been a teacher at Sacred Hearts for 28 years and has never been in trouble.
“He’s very active in the Catholic community,” said Breiner.
He added that Plourde has no criminal record.
Breiner also said that Plourde also has been a longtime music director at the Newman Center, a Catholic campus ministry at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
An Oahu grand jury last week indicted Plourde on six counts of third-degree sexual assault and one count of first-degree sexual assault. The indictment also indicates the state’s intention to seek extended sentencing.
The girl was 15 when the first alleged incident occurred June 10, according to the indictment. An earlier court document said the first assault happened June 6.
A second incident happened between June 11 and July 6, the indictment said.
By law a girl at that age is unable to consent to sexual contact with anyone five or more years older unless they are married.
Plourde was arrested at his Date Street home Aug. 7 after he telephoned police, offering to turn himself in.
According to court documents, the girl told police that Plourde, who was her former homeroom teacher at the private school in Kaimuki, touched her breast and genitals when she was in his car.
Sacred Hearts Head of School Betty White said Plourde was fired Aug. 7 within an hour of school administrators receiving and confirming a claim against him. The girl’s parents filed for a temporary restraining order against Plourde, which Judge Richard Perkins granted Aug. 13.