GARDINER — A former high school teacher and coach accused of illegally touching a student was back behind bars Monday.

Gardiner police arrested Matthew B. Dineen, 41, of Gardiner on Highland Avenue around 8 a.m. Monday and charged him with violating an order of protection and violating conditions of release.

Dineen was being held at the Kennebec County jail without bail pending a court hearing.

His estranged wife, Shelby Dineen, called Augusta police Sunday to say her husband had telephoned her in violation of a court order, Augusta police Sgt. Christopher Massey said.

Shelby Dineen had obtained a protection-from-abuse order against her husband on behalf of herself and their two children. It is in effect until March 21, 2011, and bars him from visiting his children or contacting his wife.

Dineen, a former teacher and coach at Gardiner Area High School, was arrested in April and charged with three misdemeanor counts of unlawful sexual touching involving a 16-year-old high school student. He was subsequently freed on $1,500 bail.

The charges allege the illegal behavior occurred on three separate occasions between Oct. 1, 2009, and Feb. 28. The maximum penalty is 364 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

Dineen resigned from his positions at the high school after the allegations surfaced.

Shelby Dineen, in an affidavit seeking the protection-from-abuse order, said her husband was placed on administrative leave by the school Feb. 26 after allegations were made of “inappropriate texting and Facebook contact with a student.” Shelby Dineen’s mother also obtained a protection-from-harassment order against her son-in-law.

Dineen, who taught at Gardiner for more than two years, was the boys’ hockey coach and a volunteer coach for the boys’ lacrosse team.


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