An elementary school teacher has been accused of sexually assaulting a child.
There are multiple charges — including the most serious ones for rape.
Michael Wright, 33, has been charged with five counts of sex assault. According to court records, they all took place over a five-year period from July 2010 to July 2015.
Wright is a teacher at Jefferson Elementary in Waikiki. The Department of Education confirms Wright has been an employee with the department for 9 years.
The DOE says Wright was placed on Department Directed Leave upon learning of the arrest and until an investigation could be conducted.
In a written statement, the department adds “HIDOE cannot provide additional information on the case at this time due to the open police investigation. The safety of our students is a high priority and the Department conducts detailed background checks on all applicants prior to employment.”
The DOE also stated that letters were not sent home to the parents of Jefferson Elementary students about Wright’s arrest because this is a “personnel matter.”
Wright’s attorney, William Harrison, says his client plans to fight the charges.
“Your client is facing very serious allegations. Did he do it?” KHON asked.
“He did not do this. These allegations, I don’t know why. But this person who filed the complaint made these allegations up,” responded Harrison.
When asked if Wright has been convicted of similar crimes before, Harrison answered “No, not at all. He’s never been charged with these allegations made about him, no.”
Harrison says his client wants a trial to prove his innocence. On Monday, Sept. 19, Wright pleaded not guilty.