Waldo County tech center instructor jailed after allegedly admitting to sexually assaulting student

Posted April 07, 2014, at 10:47 a.m.
Last modified April 07, 2014, at 12:19 p.m.

WALDO, Maine — Police said that an automotive technology instructor at Waldo County Technical Center remained in jail Monday after he was arrested and charged on Friday with gross sexual assault.

Michael Gagnon, 46, of Winslow, came to police attention on Thursday, April 3, after Regional School Unit 3 Superintendent Heather Perry asked police to look into a rumor that a staff member at the technical center was involved in a sexual relationship with a student from RSU 20, according to a news release issued Monday morning by Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Nick Oettinger and Detective Gerald Lincoln interviewed several people on Friday, eventually speaking with Gagnon.

“During his interview with Detective Lincoln, he admitted to being involved in a physical relationship with a student,” Trafton said.

Chris Downing, the director of the technical center, said that Gagnon has been placed on administrative leave. School officials are meeting with his classes today, Downing said.

Gagnon also has worked as a softball coach at Mount View High School in Thorndike since 2002. He has been placed on leave from his coaching duties, Perry said in a news release issued Monday morning.

“RSU 3 is taking all necessary steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our students as we move forward in our investigations into this matter,” she wrote. “We would encourage anyone who may think they have additional information that would be helpful to law enforcement to step forward and contact the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office.”

Gagnon was charged with Class C gross sexual assault. If found guilty, he could face up to five years imprisonment and a fine of as much as $5,000.

To reach a sexual assault advocate, call the Statewide Sexual Assault Crisis and Support Line at 800-871-7741, TTY 888-458-5599. This free and confidential 24-hour service is accessible from anywhere in Maine. Calls are automatically routed to the closest sexual violence service provider.

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