ROCKPORT — A former student teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport was arrested May 31 for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a student, who was in one of his classes, during the time he was her teacher. The female, according to court documents, is 18 years old.
Eben Wight, 21, of St. George, was arrested by Camden Police Detective Curt Andrick and charged with gross sexual assault, as violating state statute governing Title 17-A, which states: “A person is guilty of gross sexual assault if that person engages in a sexual act with another person and.... [Section F] The other person, not the actor's spouse, is a student enrolled in a private or public elementary, secondary or special education school, facility or institution and the actor is a teacher, employee or other official having instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority over the student. Violation of this paragraph is a Class C crime.”
Wight appeared in Knox County Unified Court in Rockland on June 3. Judge Susan Sparaco set his bail at $250 cash. He later posted bail and was released from jail.
According to the affidavit filed in Knox County Unified Court by Andrick, Five Town Community School District Superintendent Maria Libby contacted Camden police after she received an anonymous letter, dated May 10, 2019, from an “outraged citizen” accusing Wight of being in a sexual relationship with a senior female student.
“While I do not want the female student to be further victimized by an investigation, I am writing because of the gross immortality that Mr. Wight has shown as a student teacher in the hopes that this man will not be able to abuse his authority and power as a teacher in the future,” the letter said. “I am writing to stop further female students from being trapped by his neediness and moral turpitude.”
The “outraged citizen” did not provide his or her name. The letter was typed.
Libby said via an email that: “Eben was technically not an employee. He was in our district as a student teacher as part of his undergraduate degree program. He finished on May 10.”
She said, responding to a question about how apprentice teachers are instructed in their legal responsibilities before taking the job and if they were instructed in employment guidelines, although they are technically not employees.
“It is my understanding that the sending college takes responsibility for making sure student teachers are aware of their responsibilities and boundaries,” she said. “We don’t have any formal induction or training for student teachers who do their practicum in our schools.”
Wight was a student teacher as part of his undergraduate degree program. He taught the chamber singers, band/chorus and about the history of rock and roll, since early January 2019. He was not paid by the district except for one occasion when he served as a substitute teacher in March, according to the affidavit.
Andrick interviewed both the student teacher and the 18-year-old student at the Camden Police Station.
Wight admitted that he had a sexual relationship with the student and after they first met, they eventually exchanged cell phone numbers and started sending text messages, according to the report. He said the sex was consensual and did not occur on school grounds, according to the affidavit.
The student also confirmed that she had a sexual relationship with Wight, police documented in the court report.
Wight will appear again in court July 11 for a dispositional conference.
Sarah Shepherd can be reached at email@example.com