July 3, 2008 · Updated 2:06 PM
A North Whidbey Middle School teacher accused of inappropriately touching a 12-year-old student in February has been charged with fourth-degree assault.
Rodger Jordan, 57, was originally arrested on suspicion of unlawful imprisonment and fourth-degree assault, but the Island County Prosecutors Office decided the evidence warranted the lesser gross misdemeanor charge.
According to Oak Harbor Police Cpt. Rick Wallace, Jordan is accused of picking the girl up off the ground in the hallway of North Whidbey Middle School. The alleged assault occurred after school hours on Feb. 22.
According to the charging document on file at Oak Harbor Municipal Court, the charge of fourth-degree assault means prosecutors believe there is evidence that Jordan did intentionally touch or strike another ... and said touching or striking was harmful or offensive.
We take this matter seriously, just like we would any alleged child abuse, Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks said. The allegations in this case are all the more serious because of the expectation of all parents that their children will be safe when they send them off to school in the morning.
A gross misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine. According to Banks, Jordan has no criminal history.
Oak Harbor School District Superintendent Rick Schulte said Jordan was put on leave while the case continues.
Neither Jordan nor his two Everett attorneys could be reached for comment.
Jordans arraignment hearing is set for April 23 at 1:30 p.m.
You can reach Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 675-6611.