Teacher found guilty of sex assaults on girl
Jefferson Elementary School teacher Michael A. Wright faces a mandatory 20-year prison term at sentencing in March for sexually assaulting a girl from the time she was 11 until the day before she turned 16.
Sixteen is the age of consent under Hawaii law.
A state jury found Wright guilty Thursday of one count of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of third-degree sexual assault.
The girl was not a Jefferson Elementary student.
Wright, 35, was charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault and three counts of third-degree sexual assault.
The jury found him guilty as charged of one first-degree sexual assault charge covering the period when the girl was 14 to the day before her 16th birthday, guilty of the lesser third-degree instead of first-degree sexual assault charge from when the girl was 11 but under 14, and guilty as charged for another third-degree sexual assault charge but not guilty of two other third-degree sexual assault charges for the same period.
Defense lawyer William Harrison said he and Wright are considering appealing based on the jury’s seemingly inconsistent verdicts.
Wright denies subjecting the girl to sex or sexual contact. He and the girl gave opposing testimony, forcing the jurors to choose which one to believe.
The state Department of Education said Wright has been on unpaid leave since his arrest on Sept. 6, 2016. Honolulu police arrested him during school hours.
Michael A. Wright