PONTIAC, Mich. (WXYZ) — A Northville High School teacher was arraigned on three counts of felony Criminal Sexual Conduct for allegedly engaging in a relationship with a female student back in 2010 when she was 14-years-old.
Jason William Dean, 36, was arrested on Monday. Dean is currently a teacher at Northville High School and also a coach on the Michigan Hawks, a girls soccer club based in Livonia.
According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, the investigation began when a former female student of the accused reported she had a sexual relationship with her 8th grade teacher at Cedar Crest Academy in 2010. The alleged relationship happened on school grounds, at after-school events and other locations.
A portion of a letter #Northville Public Schools sent out to families today regarding allegations against a teacher, Jason Dean. "We do not have any reason to believe, at this time, that the allegations and charges involve any current or former Northville student," @wxyzdetroit pic.twitter.com/78ARjYrOMY
— Jenn Schanz (@JennSchanzWXYZ) January 30, 2020
Deputies say in addition to teaching at Cedar Crest in Springfield Township, Dean also coached soccer and basketball.
Cedar Crest Academy released this statement:
"It is with heavy hearts that we communicate this information to you. A former Cedar Crest Academy teacher was arrested in anticipation of potential criminal charges. This teacher has not been employed by Cedar Crest Academy or present on our campus since August 2010. Cedar Crest Academy had no knowledge of this situation until January 28, 2020. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and following their directives for information we may release. Our primary concern is for the safety, health, and well‐being of our students, staff, families, and community. We believe there is no threat of safety to our current students and families. Student safety is our first concern. We will work in cooperation with authorities. Thank you for your understanding as we work collectively with you, law enforcement, and the greater educational community."
“I applaud this brave victim in coming forward to report this truly atrocious behavior by a teacher,” Sheriff Michael Bouchard said in a release. “Our teachers are supposed to be trusted mentors, role models, and leaders for our children, and when one violates this trust, they must be held accountable and punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
Dean was arraigned Wednesday and given a $500,000 bond. It's expected he'll be arraigned on two other charges on Thursday.
"Very weird. Thinking that it happened 10 years ago, the fact that he was still around kids," said Northville High School student Jason Brown.
Action News spoke with Dean's attorney, Steven Schwartz, who maintains Dean's innocence.
"I’m hoping that the community as a whole will look at this objectively and and wait until all the facts come to light prior to passing judgement," Schwartz said.
Schwartz decline to comment on the case further.
Mary Kay Gallgher, a superintendent for Northville Public Schools, released this statement on Tuesday to parents.
"In keeping with our district’s ongoing commitment to communicate with our parents and community members on matters of concern to our families, it is with a heavy heart that I inform you that one of our male high school teachers was arrested this morning, in anticipation of potential criminal charges. The district was notified by the authorities of the individual’s arrest this morning, with the directive that more specific communication could only take place following arraignment which is anticipated to take place within the next few days. We do not have any reason to believe, at this time, that the allegations and charges involve any Northville student.
Upon learning of these serious allegations, the teacher was placed on administrative leave, pending our review of the situation and completion of the criminal process. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement and guided by their directives relating to information we may release and any other steps that may be taken to ensure student safety."
In a letter to current and former families of their players, Doug Landefeld, executive director of Michigan Hawks, said that they have no reason to believe that the "allegations/charges against the coach involve any Hawks' club player or connection."
Landefeld also indicated that the soccer club is taking "immediate steps to remove the coach from his duties."
Action News spoke to Northville parents off camera, who said the allegations are "appalling."