A teenage girl has defended the married teacher charged with having sex with her and pleaded with the judge to let them stay in contact during his first court hearing.
Tyler David Millward, a former science teacher at Athens High School in Michigan, was arrested on Friday at the student’s East Loreoy apartment, police said.
The arrest came six months after the Tribal Police Department began investigating claims that he had engaged in an improper relationship with the then-16-year-old student.
The 29-year-old was arraigned on Monday on charges of using a computer to communicate with another to commit the crime of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of lying to police for denying the alleged relationship happened.
During Millward’s hearing the victim, now 17, sat at the defense table and told Magistrate Joe Brutsche not to impose a ban keeping Millward from contacting her.
‘He has never been a threat and he has never hurt me,’ the teen told the courtroom.
‘He has never told me to say anything or push me to do anything against my will. I wish to have contact.’
It’s not clear if the magistrate barred Millward from contacting the victim.
Prosecutors allege that Millward’s relationship with the student lasted from July 2017 to January 2018 when she was 16.
They said Millward used his cellphone to contact the teen and arrange meetings for them to have sex.
The relationship came to light when the teen’s phone was taken in school and she admitted to being involved in a sexual relationship with Millward.
When questioned by investigators Millward lied about having sex with the student and about texting the girl. Prosecutors said he also lied about taking the teen to a hotel room.
Millward’s bond was set at $75,000 cash.
Prosecutors also requested the judge suspend his passport saying that after police began investigating Millward he renewed his passport and allegedly made statements about fleeing.
Prosecutors said other charges could be added. Superintendent Joe Huepenbecker said in a statement on Monday that Millward was fired from Athens High School in February.
The former educator, who had been with the district for three years when the investigation began, is expected to appear in court for a preliminary examination on July 30.