TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Patrick Hickey is officially out as a Washington Local School Board member and is out on a $25,000 cash bond after facing a Lenawee County Judge Wednesday morning.
Hickey resigned Tuesday after felony charges were filed against him in Lenawee County. The three separate criminal sexual conduct charges are third degree felonies which were filed by the Lenawee County prosecutor.
During the court hearing, Hickey entered a not guilty plea.
The alleged offense happened 30 years ago in 1987 while Hickey was an English teacher and basketball coach at Addison Local Schools. Hickey is accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl. In 1990, Hickey left that school district.
Hickey's defense attorney Lorin Zaner said Hickey maintains his innocence and that these criminal sexual misconduct charges with a minor are not true. He also said the last 24 hours have been hard on Hickey's wife.
"Well everyone is disappointed on some of the procedures that happened but what happens in court is nothing goes as smoothly as you hope. I tried to grease all of the wheels as best I could ahead of time," said Zaner. "It's our plan to likely take this to trial and fight this all the way through but you never know what happens in a case when you investigate it and look into it and talk to witnesses."
In the state of Michigan, these third degree felony charges carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison each.
Hickey will have to turn himself in. His attorney did not say when this would be or if there was an arraignment date set, but he will return to court on March 28.
WTOL 11 has been reaching out to school board members since his resignation, with no response at this time.
There is a school board meeting scheduled for Wednesday night. As to where this meeting will be, that is to be determined according to the school board website.
Due to a prior incident Hickey was involved in, meetings had to be held off of district property.
His attorney says he resigned to cause stress on the school board.
With Hickey's resignation Tuesday after the three criminal charges, it's unclear what the district will do moving forward.
Zaner is representing Hickey and said his client is innocent and these charges come at a time when the #MeToo movement is in the headlines.
"Because there are so many people coming out and saying something happened and it may be true, it may not be true. We don't know," Zaner explained. "But very difficult to prove a negative and that's essentially what you have to do with this kind of an allegation."
The school board will have to send out a change of venue notification for the school board meeting Wednesday night.