January 29, 2013

Westbrook teacher accused of sex assault free on bail

By David Hench dhench@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

A teacher at the Westbrook Regional Vocational Center, who is on administrative leave from his job, is free on $5,000 bail and isn't scheduled to appear in court until March 19 to face charges of gross sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact.

Derek Hanscom, 32, of Gorham, was charged Monday in connection with incidents involving a junvenile that occurred over the past two weeks, according to police. Police have not said whether the alleged victim was a student or any other identifying characteristics.

Hanscom has been on administrative leave with pay since Thursday from his job as an instructor in the school's automotive program, said Westbrook school Superintendent Marc Gousse. The leave will continue indefinitely pending the outcome of an internal investigation, Gousse said.

Gousse would not elaborate on the case against Hanscom or say whether the charges involve a student. Hanscom has been a teacher at the vocational center since January 2011.

Hanscom's bail was initially entered as $10,000 in property or $500 cash Monday but a jail official said that may have been a clerical error because it was later revised to $10,000 in property or $5,000 cash.

The bail commissioner who set bail for Hanscom could not immediately be reached for comment.

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