Freeport religious school teacher charged with sexual assault

A teacher at a private Christian school in Freeport has been charged with aggravated sexual assault for having sex with a 15-year-old student, Lisbon police say.

Derek michael boyce

Derek Michael Boyce, 37, admitted to police he had sex with the student after his mother caught them having sex last Friday, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court of Androscoggin County.

Boyce was put on leave from Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, a private Adventist school on Pownal Road that has 126 students from kindergarten to grade 12.

He was charged and arrested at his home in Woolwich last Friday, the day police began investigating the allegations. He is being held at Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn on $ 50,000 bond and is prohibited from contacting the girl or her family and having contact with minors, police said.

Boyce is charged with two counts of aggravated sexual assault and two counts of unlawful sexual contact with a minor, and is scheduled to appear in court for the first time on December 5.

In an affidavit, a Lisbon detective wrote that the victim’s mother came home on Friday night to find her daughter naked and engaged in a sexual act with Boyce, the Sun Journal reported. The mother then called the police.

The mother had previously believed that Boyce, who was the girl’s math teacher, may have had an inappropriate relationship with the teenager, police said.

After being caught, the young girl told her mother that she had previously had sex with Boyce, the Sun Journal reported.

Boyce told police his relationship with the girl began after she suffered a sports injury and was depressed. They communicated through messaging apps on social networks.

NOT A STATE-GRADUATED TEACHER

The relationship turned romantic in May, then turned sexual in July, he told police. They met in a park and gave each other a blowjob, Boyce said. They had sex twice, he said.

Boyce told police their gender was always consensual and there were no drugs or alcohol.

According to the state’s Department of Education, Boyce is not a state-certified teacher, but private schools are not required to hire certified teachers. Boyce does not have a criminal history in Maine, according to the State Bureau of Identification.

Boyce passed a standard pre-employment background check that included several benchmark interviews, a spokesperson for the Northern New England Seventh-day Adventist Conference said.

“Rigorous background checks are done on all teachers during the hiring phase,” said Scott Christiansen. “Background checks include all law enforcement records, including traffic violations, as well as multiple interviews with references and previous employers. As a teacher at Pine Tree Academy, such a background check of Mr. Boyce was carried out.

FORBIDDEN FROM CAMPUS

The Pine Tree Academy is owned and operated by the Adventist Conference of Northern New England and has been in operation since 1974. Its program offers Christ-centered learning.

“As members of our family, (the students) are safe spiritually, physically and emotionally, and they leave here with a foundation of inner strength and balance, ready to face the world,” the website states. from school.

It offers Kindergarten to Grade 12 education for day students and a limited number of boarding schools in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Director Brendan Krueger referred all questions about the arrest to the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

In a brief statement, the church group said it had taken Boyce on leave and banned him from entering campus and having contact with students pending the outcome of the investigation.

“Our current understanding is that this is an isolated incident,” the Northern New England Conference of Seventh-day Adventists said in a prepared statement. As always, the safety and well-being of our students is a top priority for Pine Tree Academy. “

Counselors have been made available to students, teachers and parents, the conference said.

Christiansen, the regional conference spokesperson, said he was not allowed to answer questions about whether the student was in a class with Boyce or whether she was a boarder or day school.

“Due to the ongoing investigation, as well as respect for the parties involved, no further details of the alleged incident will be shared at this time,” the conference said in the statement. “Our sincere prayers continue for everyone affected by this unfortunate situation. “

TWO DIPLMES, MUSICIAN

Boyce’s biography had been removed from the school’s website at noon on Wednesday, but an archived version says Boyce taught math and science to senior students and graduated in chemistry and math from Southern Adventist University and Andrews University.

Boyce also maintained a small YouTube channel that showed him playing the trombone and guitar. It introduces Boyce with his wife, Ashley Rich, who is also a musician. Some videos show Boyce covering Christian worship music or performing with the Pine Tree Academy band. There are also recordings of musical performances by Boyce’s wife, who teaches private and group music lessons at Pine Tree Academy, according to his website.

Matt Byrne can be contacted at 791-6303 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: Matt ByrnePPH

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