AUGUSTA — A judge on Thursday reduced the $50,000 cash bail set for a science teacher at Gardiner Area High School accused of plying a 16-year-old girl with alcohol and sexually assaulting her on a snow day last month.

The alleged victim’s mother fears retaliation by the teacher, John M. Glowa Jr., 43, of Mount Vernon, and her other children are having nightmares, prosecutor said. The alleged victim is not a student at the school where Glowa teaches.

Assistant District Attorney Kristin Murray-James said Glowa has access to “many weapons.” However, the defendant’s attorney said Glowa’s firearms have been locked away in her law office.

Bail for Glowa had been set previously on Jan. 31. Associate Supreme Court Justice Donald Alexander set new bail Thursday at $15,000 cash or $30,000 worth of property.

The hearing was held at the Capital Judicial Center. Glowa was expected to be freed on bail later Thursday.

Alexander refused to change any other bail conditions, leaving in place a prohibition on Glowa having contact with anyone under age 18, including his own three children.

Glowa said nothing in the courtroom. His mother watched the hearing and took notes.

Defense attorney Pamela Ames asked for the reduction, saying Glowa had no criminal record, had numerous ties to Maine and his community and had been “fully employed his entire adult life.”

Glowa is on paid administrative leave from his teaching post at School Administrative District 11 where he has taught for 10 years.

The state originally requested $25,000 cash bail and Judge Tom Nale had set it at $50,000.

Ames said Glowa is divorced and he and his ex-wife share custody of the children.

Ames said that while there are two class B felony charges against Glowa, they are alternate charges; one says alcohol was involved in the assault, and the other says Glowa was in a position where he was “responsible for the long-term care” of the victim.

Ames requested bail amounts of $20,000 worth of property or $10,000 cash.

“I represented him in the divorce action,” she said, adding that he always showed up for court hearings.

Murray-James asked that the $50,000 amount remain, citing the nature and circumstances of the charges.

“Mr. Glowa prepared for this,” she said. “He had in the previous months given the 16-year-old girl alcohol and encouraged her not to tell her mother.”

Murray-James said that Glowa picked up pizza and raspberry kiwi alcohol that day prior to the assault. “She became intoxicated and he proceeded to sexually assault her,” Murray-James said, adding, “The state has DNA evidence. The state’s case is very strong.”

Murray-James also said the state is concerned that Glowa might flee because the victim’s mother indicated Glowa is a “survivalist” with access to land in rural parts of Maine.

Glowa could face years in prison “for a very heinous offense,” Murray-James said, adding, “We know from monitoring his jail phone calls he’s liquidating many assets.”

Ames said Glowa was liquidating assets to pay her retainer as defense attorney.

Murray-James successfully sought bail conditions adding prohibitions against possession of alcohol and illegal drugs, dangerous weapons and firearms and requiring him to submit to random search and testing for those.

Ames said there was no risk of retaliation by her client. She also said, “There’s been death threats to my client.”

She said that along with his home in Mount Vernon, Glowa owns land elsewhere in Maine and likes to hunt. She added that she had locked Glowa’s firearms in her office and said they would remain there.

“I am aware of what the evidence is, but we leave that for a trial,” Ames said.

Betty Adams can be contacted at 621-5631 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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