Teacher pleads not guilty to charges he raped a student

Glenfield Arthur Watkins, 61, of Tacoma, Washington. [Image credit: Facebook, 2014]

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The student is said to have disclosed the abuse in April to a Communities in School mentor she had been meeting with for an hour a week since the eighth grade.  According to the Kent Reporter, the disclosure was done over a video chat due to the COVID-19 stay home restrictions.

 

In a July 2 email, Federal Way Public Schools spokeswoman Kassie Swenson said, “The district immediately contacted the police and Child Protective Services and placed the employee on leave while police conducted their investigation.”

 

“We take allegations like these very seriously,” Swenson said. “The district took immediate action steps and are cooperating with law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation. The student who reported the allegations was connected with support resources.”

 

The hearing process for Federal Way Public Schools involves applicants passing a FBI and Washington State Patrol fingerprint and background check.  Once hired, they are then required to take harassment, intimidation and bullying training annually, as well as training on appropriate boundaries.

 

School records show that Glenfield Arthur Watkins, now 61, was the girl's math teacher in the seventh and eighth grades.  He was 55 at the time she was in his class.

 

When interviewed by a detective, Watkins denied a sexual relationship wit the student.  She had asked him to tutor her in math while in the eighth grade, he asserted, which he said that he did most days after school.

 

The girl however, was able to provide police with text messages that she had received from Watkins detailing the nature of their relationship.  The number the messages had been sent from is the same number that detectives used to make contact with Watkins.

 

Watkins was arrested on July 7th, and charged with three counts of child rape.  On July 9th, he entered a plea of not guilty.  His bail was set at $50,000 and he remains in custody at the King County Jail.  His next court date is unknown.

 

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Steve Kelly with the Kent Police Department at 253-856-5800.

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