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BREAKING: Boy-Crazy Former Teacher’s Student Sex Error Meets Correctional System: Meredith Powell Sentenced to 6 Months in Jail

Former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Claire Powell tears up as she hears her sentence in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday, August 29, 2014. LUI KIT WONG Tacoma News Tribune Staff photographer

Former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Claire Powell tears up as she hears her sentence in Pierce County Superior Court on Friday, August 29, 2014. LUI KIT WONG Tacoma News Tribune Staff photographer

After hearing that Powell will spend only six months in jail, several cursed, and one family member stormed out of the courtroom.

“I wish I could take back what happened to the students that I failed. Sorry doesn’t take away anything that happened, but I hope they can move forward with as little impact as possible.”Powell-plea

— Meredith Powell

Stacia Glenn reports: A former math teacher who had sex with two students at Tacoma’s Lincoln High School cried Friday after a judge sentenced her to six months in jail.

“Ms. Powell repeatedly talked about letting her students down. The reality is she committed child rape.”

— Shannon McMinimee, attorney for Tacoma Public Schools

Meredith Powell, 25, told the court she prays every day for the two teenage boys and is heartbroken that they and their families are suffering.

[Powell pleaded guilty last month to two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, all felonies.]

“I feel like words can’t even express how sorry I am,” Powell said. “I wish I could take back what happened to the students that I failed. Sorry doesn’t take away anything that happened, but I hope they can move forward with as little impact as possible.”

She said she’s been attending weekly counseling and now faces problems that fueled her behavior, including being molested in her youth.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge Frank Cuthbertson said he believes Powell is remorseful, which is why he suspended all but six months of a 5-year sentence and ordered her into a three-year sex offender program open to first-time offenders.

Powell must register as a sex offender and can have no contact with children without adult supervision, with the exception of her younger sister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seattle Airport Jetway Drops as Passengers from Phoenix Exit Flight

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A large crane stands ready to lift a jetway, right, that had a mechanical failure and slowly lowered to the ground Tuesday, May 13, 2014, while connected to a Southwest Airlines airplane at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The incident happened as passengers from Phoenix were deplaning. The next leg of the flight to Chicago had to be canceled so the jetway could be removed from the airplane and a damage inspection could be completed. — AP Photo

SEATAC, Wash. — A jet bridge dropped several feet Tuesday as passengers were exiting a Southwest Airlines flight at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, but no one was injured, officials said.

The end of the walkway, where it was attached to the plane, fell 6 to 8 feet. Some passengers were on the bridge at the time, but it was unclear how many, said airport spokesman Perry Cooper.

The cause of the drop was described as a mechanical failure. Thanks to a backup system — a large screw under the jetway that turns as it is raised or lowered — the bridge fell slowly, and those who were on it walked up to the gate, Cooper said.

About half of the passengers — 60 people — had exited the aircraft when the walkway fell. The rest left by a stairway brought to the other side of the plane. Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: Tacoma Teacher Meredith Powell Pleads Not Guilty in Latest Sex Charge

Former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Powell pleaded not guilty Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to an additional charge stemming from her alleged sexual misconduct with students. DEBBIE CAFAZZO — Staff writer  Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/04/08/3139274/tacoma-teacher-pleads-not-guilty.html?sp=/99/296/#storylink=cpy

Former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Powell pleaded not guilty Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to an additional charge stemming from her alleged sexual misconduct with students. DEBBIE CAFAZZO — Staff writer

The News Tribune‘s Debbie Cafazzo is the local reporter covering this case, it looks like she went to the arraignment, which was held in Pierce County Superior Court early this afternoon.

According to court documents, a trial date has been set for June 12th, 2014, unless another there’s another continuance, for example, if another students steps forward and new charges are added. A jury trial was originally scheduled for April 24th, but was granted a continuance after the 4th student came forward. Today Powell entered a plea to the new count of sexual misconduct in the second degree.

For the record, this is what Meredith Powell was reported to be charged with. RCW 9A.44.096 –  Sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree. (more after the jump) The following is from today’s News Tribune:

Debbie Cafazzo reports: Former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Powell pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an additional charge stemming from her alleged sexual misconduct with students.

[See Boy-Crazy Tacoma Math Teacher Meredith Powell: FORTH Student Comes Forward to Allege Sexual Misconduct]

Supporters of former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Powell surround her in the hallway of the Pierce County Courthouse after she entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to an additional charge stemming from her alleged sexual misconduct with students. DEBBIE CAFAZZO — Staff writer   Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/04/08/3139274/tacoma-teacher-pleads-not-guilty.html?sp=/99/296/#storylink=cpy

Supporters of former Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Powell surround her in the hallway of the Pierce County Courthouse after she entered a plea of not guilty Tuesday, April 8, 2014, to an additional charge stemming from her alleged sexual misconduct with students. DEBBIE CAFAZZO — Staff writer

[Flashback: Meredith Powell in Custody of Her Mother: Boy-Crazy High School Teacher Accused of Rape Resigns]

The 24-year-old former Tacoma math teacher pleaded not guilty Feb. 7 to two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Scene: Meredith Powell is alleged to have engaged in oral sex with two of her students in her classroom here at Lincoln High School in Washington

Scene: Meredith Powell is alleged to have engaged in oral sex with two of her students in her classroom here at Lincoln High School in Washington

Those charges were based on allegations that she engaged in sexual acts with three of her male students, ages 15 to 17, earlier this year….(read more) The News Tribune

Robert Stacy McCain has posted news and comments about this Tacoma teacher, as well as faithfully tracking similar, less-reported adult female sex predator cases that have been tumbling out in just the last few months, inconveniently interrupting the male-predator #RapeCulture narrative. Here’s McCain’s summary of why this case gets more attention:

Having recently written several items (e.g., “She Craved the Taste of Boy Flesh,” Jan. 12, and “Police: Ex-Teacher Tonya Drueppel, 33, Had Sex With 13-Year-Old ‘Girlfriend’,” Jan. 30) about sex-crime cases involving female teacher, I notice that this latest case in Tacoma is getting more media coverage than most, with reports at the Daily MailDaily Callerand NY Daily News. This can be explained simply: (a) the accused teacher is a skinny young blonde with a nice smile, (b) she seems to have had a habit of posting selfies on Facebook and Pinterest, providing lots of photo potential, and (c) the affidavit offers lurid details.

Read the rest of this entry »


[WARNING: GRAPHIC] Meredith Powell’s Misdeeds: Amended Probable Cause Documents in Teacher Sex Case

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The money shot.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Exclusive: Controversial Female Teachers’ Group Dedicated to “Woman-Boy Love” Pledges Legal Support to Meredith Powell

Out of the Shadows: NAWBA Members Defend Their Affairs With Young Male Students, Promote Social Acceptance

meredith-power-perpNABWA, the North American Boy-Woman Association, a controversial organization of female school teachers, is a support group, a social club, and a legal defense organization. It was founded in 1995 by Margaret McGuff, a retired teacher with a PHD in psychology and human sexuality. Margaret began the club in her apartment in Phoenix, Arizona, when she was a high school administrator, to support women teachers who were struggling with society’s disapproval of their love of boy students. The group has never revealed the identity of its members, has never advocated any criminal activity, and has carefully guarded its activities. NABWA has remained in the shadows. Until now. Speaking out for the first time, Part-time teacher and full-time legal advocate Mercy McPhearson reached out to accused teacher Meredith Powell, in March of 2014, not long after her arrest.

“We feel that Meredith shouldn’t have waived her Miranda rights without first having an opportunity to consider her legal options, and benefit from our support. Meredith needs to know that she is not alone.”

— Mercy McPhearson, volunteer legal advisor for NABWA members

nabwa-blonde2Mercy has been observing other cases like Powell’s, and has contacted parents, teachers, school officials, and law enforcement officials, confidentially, and has sometimes been successful in quietly brokering deals that keep the women she represents out of the newspapers, and eliminate prison time. “Because our members are women, I can usually negotiate settlements, or informal agreements, that involve zero time in prison. As women, we’re simply not perceived as predators. It’s a natural benefit of being female”, said McPhearson. “We’re seen as nurturing, helpful, and kind, not immoral, or sexually deviant. We cultivate this image. We know how to use our strengths. Do we exploit this advantage? Absolutely.” In our phone interview, Mercy explained the asymmetrical presumption of guilt or innocence, based on the gender of the teacher, and student.

“I’ve known female teachers who are carrying on long-term affairs with young male students, or happily servicing the whole football team. Even when the evidence is abundantly clear, school officials look the other way. “

— Brenda, Iowa high school teacher, NABWA member

“Though we have many men friends, we discourage adult males from associating with our organization”, Mercy explained.  “Men don’t have anywhere near the latitude we do. Male teachers are almost always judged guilty before any facts or evidence emerge, and the slightest accusation against them is believed to be true. For women, not so much. In fact, it’s usually the opposite. School officials generally believe anything we say.” Though she added, “That doesn’t mean we not cautious. Or that we’re not sympathetic. We understand what they’re going through”.

Other members agree. “I’ve seen men lose their jobs over nothing. A rumor. Whispers in the hallway. Lies told by students, to avoid explaining absences, or unusual behavior”, said Brenda, a high school history teacher in Iowa. “At the same time, I’ve known female teachers who are carrying on long-term affairs with young male students, or happily servicing the whole football team. Even when the evidence is abundantly clear, school officials look the other way. ” This isn’t always true. The Meredith Powell scandal, for example. “The climate has changed, we have to be less careless, more vigilant. A few high profile cases have raised the visibility of our special hobby. The increased public awareness isn’t good for our members. It used to be such a delicious secret. In the old days, hardly anyone ever suspected anything. Now we all have to be more careful”, said a member who asked not to be identified.

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“It’s more than a hobby. It’s a way of life. We realize that many consider the love between female teacher and young male student to be wrong, and think of us as criminals, or mentally unstable. But it’s not true. Some of us are very healthy, and have a lot to offer. We’re very respectful of boundaries.”

— Julie, guidance counselor, soccer coach, NABWA member

How do women find NABWA, and what makes them decide to become members? Many women teachers felt isolated, confused, or ashamed. They felt they had no one to talk to. Others needed legal support, because they’d run afoul of the laws of their local communities. Read the rest of this entry »


Meredith Powell in Custody of Her Mother: Boy-Crazy High School Teacher Accused of Rape Resigns, Surrenders Teaching Certificate

Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Claire Powell walks into Pierce County Superior Court for her arraignment for two counts of rape of a child in the third degree on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. Powell was released on personal recognizance to her mother in Sequim Photo/LUI KIT WONG

Lincoln High School teacher Meredith Claire Powell walks into Pierce County Superior Court for her arraignment for two counts of rape of a child in the third degree on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014.  Photo/LUI KIT WONG

The News Tribune‘s Debbie Cafazzo reports:  Meredith Powell, the 24-year-old Lincoln High School math teacher charged last week with child rape for having sex with students, has resigned from her job and surrendered her state teaching certificate, according to a letter from Powell received by Tacoma Public Schools Thursday.

Powell pleaded not guilty Feb. 7 to two counts of third-degree child rape and one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

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Court documents say Powell is accused of several acts of sexual misconduct with three boys ages 15 to 17, including kissing, fondling and performing other sex acts – some inside her Lincoln classroom.

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She is also accused of sending inappropriate text messages and suggestive photos of herself to the boys.

Read the rest of this entry »


USA Today, Tacoma News Tribune Break Ranks, Refuse to Publish Official White House Photos

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Sorry, Mr. President, but official pictures won’t do

Karen Peterson reports: A photojournalist’s job is to document the news the way it really looks, not the way somebody wants it to look. Even when that somebody is the president.

During his presidency, Barack Obama has time and again closed the door to photojournalists trying to take pictures of him performing official duties. Instead, he’s had his own photographer take the pictures, which the White House distributes to the media. You can bet only flattering photos make it through.

That’s a break from the practice of previous administrations, which allowed greater access. It’s concerning to the nation’s largest press organizations and concerning to us at The News Tribune.

Last week, the American Society of News Editors and 37 other organizations signed a letter delivered to Obama’s press secretary, Jay Carney, protesting the lack of access. The letter listed seven news events handled this way from July 2013 to October 2013, including the president’s meetings with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, and with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

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UPDATED: Sex Offender to Legally Marry Transgender Bride in Wa. State Island Prison Ritual Wiccan Ceremony

Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island on Wednesday, February 2, 2011.       (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Special Commitment Center at McNeil Island                                 (Lui Kit Wong/Staff photographer)

Editors note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the transgender member of this couple as a man. (note: that has to be the best correction reporter Stacia Glenn ever had to write)

The bride will wear a traditional white veil. The groom will wear a Grim Reaper cloak.

pic-mcneilislandcenterThey will step into a Wiccan circle to exchange vows and rings before being ushered back to their respective units at the Special Commitment Center, the state’s institution for sex offenders on McNeil Island.

Their relationship is unlike most. When Hank Pollock and his transgender bride Rebecca Elmore – who changed her name from Keith in 2002 – tie the knot Thursday, they will become the first two residents to marry each other.

Read the rest of this entry »