Additional charges were brought this week against a West Tisbury school teacher who is accused of providing alcohol and pornographic materials to former students and hosting underage drinking parties at his home.
Daniel K. Johnson, 43, of Vineyard Haven was arraigned in Edgartown district court Tuesday on five new charges of furnishing alcohol to minors and one charge of disseminating obscene materials to a minor.
The case began when Tisbury police arrested Mr. Johnson at his Mariner’s Road home on Dec. 9 and charged him with five counts of furnishing alcohol to minors, assault and battery and two counts of dissemination of obscenities to minors.
Mr. Johnson has been an industrial arts teacher at the West Tisbury School since 2001 and has lived on the Island for 10 years. He was also an EMT with the tri-town ambulance squad. He is currently on paid administrative leave from both jobs pending the outcome of the police investigation and criminal court proceedings against him.
Because the new charges stem from the same investigation, the Hon. John M. Julian, an associate justice of the superior court, on Tuesday declined to increase bail for Mr. Johnson on the additional complaints. Mr. Johnson remains free on $5,000 bail.
Police reports detail the history of Mr. Johnson’s alleged involvement with students that began to unfold when a parent went to the police station on Dec. 1 to report that he suspected Mr. Johnson had provided his son with alcohol. Many other reports from parents and students about an array of alleged criminal activities by Mr. Johnson are now part of the police record in an investigation which remains ongoing.
Cape and Islands assistant district attorney Laura Marshard said the dates of the allegations that led to charges against Mr. Johnson all occurred in 2008, although other information gathered during the investigation dates back for a longer period of time.
Ms. Marshard said 10 victims have come forward during the investigation.
In the wake of Mr. Johnson’s arrest, school administrators have vowed to do everything they can to prevent future incidents, including working with staff to underscore the importance of boundaries between teachers and students.
Vineyard schools superintendent Dr. James H. Weiss said yesterday Mr. Johnson remains on paid administrative leave with the school pending the outcome of the investigation. “His status is the same. I have scheduled a meeting with [Mr. Johnson] to discuss the matter further, but that is all I can say,” Mr. Weiss said.