A Tacoma man pleaded not guilty to three charges of second-degree child rape for reportedly having sexual intercourse with a then-13-year-old Totem Middle School student at the Kent school.
Glenfield Arthur Watkins, 61, entered his plea July 9 in King County Superior Court, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Watkins remained Monday in the county jail at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent with bail set at $50,000. He was booked into the jail July 7, according to jail records.
Totem, 26630 40th Ave. S., is located on the West Hill of Kent but is part of Federal Way Public Schools.
Watkins is accused of having sex with the girl at least three times between Sept. 1, 2015 and May 31, 2016, when he was 55 years old, according to charging papers filed July 1 by the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. Watkins, during an interview with a Kent Police detective, denied he had sexual intercourse with the student.
The girl estimates she engaged in oral sexual intercourse around 20 times in the teacher’s classroom, behind a locked door, with his window shade pulled down, according to charging papers.
The girl revealed the sexual relationship to a Communities in School mentor during a meeting in April by video due to COVID-19 stay home restrictions. The student has met with the mentor for one hour a day once a week since the eighth grade. The mentor reported the disclosure to her boss who in turn reported it to Federal Way Public Schools administration.
“The district immediately contacted the police and Child Protective Services and placed the employee on leave while police conducted their investigation,” said Kassie Swenson, spokeswoman for Federal Way Public Schools, in a July 2 email. “King County prosecutors recently notified the district that charges have been filed against the Totem staff member related to sexual misconduct with a student.”
Police obtained text messages that Watkins reportedly sent the student in which he references “wanting” the child at the beginning and end of each day. The phone number associated with those text messages is the same one the detective used to contact Watkins. Police determined through school records that Watkins was the student’s math teacher in the seventh and eighth grades.