FREEPORT, Maine — A former teacher at Freeport’s Coastal Studies for Girls was arrested by state and federal drug agents Tuesday and charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises.
Noel Thibodeau, 43, of Lewiston faces a maximum of 20 years and a $500,000 fine if convicted of the charge.
According to a federal indictment, from at least January 2013 to July 24, 2014, Thibodeau made his home at 5 Bradford St. in Lewiston available for use for “unlawfully manufacturing, storing, distributing and using a controlled substance.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry said Thursday he could not provide any additional information on the charge or the case.
On Wednesday afternoon, Thibodeau pleaded not guilty before Judge John H. Rich III in U.S. District Court in Portland.
He remained in federal custody at Cumberland County Jail on Thursday morning, according to a jail official. A hearing to determine whether Thibodeau will be released on bail is set for 1 p.m. Monday.
On Thursday, Coastal Studies for Girls founder and executive director Pam Erickson said the school was “shocked and disappointed” to hear on Wednesday of the arrest of its former world languages teacher.
“Coastal Studies is committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment for its students and thoroughly assesses its teachers including background checks,” Erickson said in an email to the Bangor Daily News. “In this case, the individual involved had no criminal history and exhibited no signs of engaging in inappropriate behavior of any kind. However, Mr. Thibodeau is not a current employee and last worked in June of 2014.”
Coastal Studies for Girls is a private, semester-long science and leadership school for 10th-grade girls, according to the school’s website.
Mark Cyr, certification coordinator for the Maine Department of Education, said Thursday that Thibodeau does not hold any type of credentials from the state, but he would not be required to in order to teach at most private schools, including Coastal Studies for Girls.