A longtime Mesa elementary school teacher was arrested on a warrant and accused of sexual assault, but the case has nothing to do his job at Irving Elementary School.
Michael Patrick Driscoll, 48, who was a fifth-grade teacher at Irving, was indicted in July by a Maricopa County grand jury on the sexual assault charge and was arrested Aug. 7 when the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Task Force served the warrant at the school.
Driscoll is accused of inappropriately touching a 19-year-old female relative on Sept. 5 at his home in the 2000 block of East Lockwood Street, according to court documents.
The victim told police that Driscoll served her some whiskey at a wake, after the death of a family member.
The victim reported that she agreed to lie down on a couch that night because of her relationship with Driscoll and fell asleep.
But the victim was startled when she woke up and discovered she was being touched inappropriately, the court records said.
Driscoll later apologized the victim and told her he knew she would “never make something like this up,’’ but he also said he was “intoxicated and does not remember touching the victim,’’ the court document said.
The court document said Driscoll made the same statement to detectives when he was questioned about the incident. Bond was set at $100,000.
Detective Nik Rasheta, a Mesa police spokesman, said Driscoll initially was arrested in December, after the victim reported the incident to police.
But police did not book Driscoll into a jail immediately and decided instead to submit a report to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for evaluation. Prosecutors decided months later to seek an indictment against Driscoll.
Rasheta said police did not notify Mesa Public Schools about the investigation earlier because the allegations had nothing to do with Driscoll’s job as a teacher.
Helen Hollands, a Mesa Public Schools spokeswoman, said Driscoll no longer works for the district.
She said the governing board considers Driscoll to have resigned due to “job abandonment,’’ effective the day of his arrest.