ELLSWORTH — Ellsworth High School English teacher Adam Hitchcock, 24, of Bangor, was arrested on a charge of unlawful sexual contact Dec. 11 following investigations into his conduct with a 15-year-old student.
“Evidence indicates that inappropriate sexual contact between the teacher and a 15-year-old student allegedly began in March of 2020,” a joint press release from the Ellsworth School Department and the Ellsworth Police Department states.
Hitchcock was taken to Hancock County Jail. He faces charges of sexual exploitation, class B; unlawful sexual contact, class C; unlawful sexual contact, class D; unlawful sexual touching, class D; and unlawful sexual touching, class E, according to his bail order. He posted a $1,000 cash bail on Dec. 14.
The District Attorney’s office successfully filed a motion to impound the complaint and affidavit because of the age of the alleged victim.
In Maine, the legal age of sexual consent is 16 years old if the sexual contact is with a person at least five years older who is not their spouse. It is also illegal for a teacher or school administrator to have sexual contact with a student of any age. By law, school personnel are required to notify law enforcement or the Department of Health and Human Services upon receiving any allegation of sexual contact or misconduct by school personnel having instructional, supervisory or disciplinary authority over the student.
In this case, the School Department notified the Hancock County District Attorney’s Office on Dec. 10 upon receiving the allegation. The information then flowed from the District Attorney’s Office to the Police Department, with a request that an investigation be opened.
The Police Department conducted “numerous interviews” and seized evidence related to the case in the 36-hour period between the allegation and the arrest of Hitchcock.
“We believe this was an isolated incident but ask parents to be vigilant and speak with their children and report any inappropriate conduct to the Police Department and school authorities,” the release concludes.
Hitchcock is scheduled to next appear in court on Feb. 18 at 8:30 a.m. His sole bail condition is no contact with anyone under the age of 16.
In Maine, Class B crimes are punishable by up to 10 years incarceration and a $20,000 fine; Class C crimes are punishable by up to five years incarceration and a $5,00 fine; Class D crimes are punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a $2,000 fine; and Class E crimes are punishable by up to six months incarceration and a $1,000 fine.
If you believe you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual misconduct or assault, the Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault operates a 24/7 helpline at 1-800-871-7741.