A former Fairfield Ludlowe High School teacher has been charged with having sex numerous times with an underage female student from the school where he had taught for more than a decade.
Glenn Mishuck, 47, of Ellsworth Street in Bridgeport, was charged Thursday with 17 counts of second-degree sexual assault in what police said was the number of sexual encounters he had with the student between July and September of this year.
Calling the bond of $150,000 excessive, Mishuck's lawyer, William Westcott, urged the judge to release his client on a promise to appear. The judge refused and continued the case to Nov. 26.
"Mr. Mishuck has a completely clear criminal record and has the support of his family," Westcott said later. "He intends to fully address this matter as it goes along."
Text messages between the 12-year Ludlowe faculty member and student were used by investigators to uncover the relationship, police said.
Mishuck in late spring invited the girl to his Black Rock apartment to do homework and "hang out," according to court documents.
She fell asleep on his couch and he carried her to the bed, but that night he returned to the couch to sleep alone.
Later there were the mutual massages that led to more. The student recalled in detail each time they had sex. Fifteen times, the arrest warrant affidavit shows. She said he would always use protection.
Asked by police if Mishuck ever promised her anything, the girl said, "Only that he would not hurt me."
On Sept. 17, police said the girl's father became suspicious of his daughter supposedly leaving for the gym so early in the morning and grabbed her cell phone. Police said he began scrolling through her text messages as his daughter pleaded that she and "Mish" -- as he was known to many students -- had a special friendship. The texts, later turned over to police, showed that it was more than that.
Mishuck resigned his teaching position Oct. 7 after police tried to question him. But his texts to the girl continued.
"Just know I have said nothing," he texted the girl, according to the warrant. "I have a pretty good idea what they know. Just know that I care about you and believe in you so much."
The student is still at the school, sources indicated.
Mishuck's arrest is the second within a week involving former Fairfield school personnel having sexual relations with teenagers.
Morgan V. Frawley, 25, of Soundview Avenue, a former substitute teacher in Fairfield schools and a youth group leader at a New Canaan church, was charged with risk of injury to a minor by New Canaan police, who said she had sexual relations with a 15-year-old boy in that town.
Fairfield police, however, said there was no record of any similar complaints against Frawley in Fairfield.
Under state law, any applicants for a job in the public schools must be fingerprinted, Deputy Superintendent of Schools Karen Parks said.
The fingerprints are then sent to the FBI and State Police for record checks. Applicants are also checked against the state's sex offender registry, and their personal references are called, Parks said.
Regarding the Mishuck case, Parks said, "There are always things that slip through the cracks, but I don't think there was in this case -- at least that we know of."
Before being hired in Fairfield, Mishuck had taught in Satmford.
Stamford public schools spokeswoman Sharon Beadle confirmed that Mischuk was employed in the city's schools 1993 to 2000, and that he left the job of his own accord. The district does not release information about any disciplinary problems a teacher may have had, she said.
Detective Beth Irizarry, assigned to the Fairfield Police Youth Bureau, investigated the case. The investigation included numerous interviews and collection of electronic evidence to support the allegations against Mishuck, police said.
Police Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, the department spokeswoman, declined to reveal the contents of electronic evidence gathered, but said, "most of it was based on text-message correspondence between the two."
According to a statement from Superintendent of Schools David Title's office, Mishuck, who taught English, was placed on paid administrative leave in September as soon as school officials were notified of the investigation. He resigned from the district Oct. 7.
Lussier said suspicions about the alleged relationship were first brought to school officials' attention, and police and the state Department of Children and Families were immediately notified.
Lussier said when Mishuck was made aware of the investigation, he immediately hired a lawyer and refused, through the lawyer, to provide a statement to police.
Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Pam Iacono said the board is made aware when a teacher is placed on leave, but is not given the detail. "The board is generally notified if there is a personnel issue, but not the details in case a grievance is filed," she said. Grievances can come before the board and it is important the members remain unbiased.
Divorce papers were filed by Mishuck and his wife, Kim M. Mishuck, of Beagle Trail in Newtown on May 30 in State Superior Court in Bridgeport. They were representing themselves in a "no fee party" divorce. The divorce was granted Aug. 23 by Judge Howard Owens.
Irizarry said in Connecticut, the student-teacher relationship is considered "sacred," with an enormous amount of responsibility and trust. Children grow up expecting their teachers to protect them, she said.
"When it crosses over into a sexual relationship, what we see is the student takes responsibility for the relationship ... They take on the guilt, and the most common side effect is depression." It can make it difficult for them to trust authority figures in the future, or even look to them for relationships, she said. The student will also believe it was their choice to enter into the sexual relationship, she said.
Irizarry said she just doesn't know why some teachers will enter into a sexual relationship with a student, knowing that no matter the student's age, it is against the law. She also said she doesn't feel badly when such a teacher ends up behind bars.
Some postings about Mishuck, a former Ludlowe baseball coach, on the "Rate My Teacher" website, as well as comments from some former students, indicate that his temper would flare occasionally, though he still was generally a well-liked teacher.