Teacher Pleads Not Guilty to Inappropriate Relationship

44-year-old man envisioned future with female student after she graduated from high school

By Molly Priddy

MISSOULA — A former Montana teacher has pleaded not guilty to having an inappropriate relationship with a female student at Frenchtown High School.

The Missoulian reports that prosecutors say 44-year-old Michael Botsford and the girl exchanged about 14,000 Facebook messages. Court documents say most were not sexual, but some were intimate in nature.

Prosecutors say Botsford at first denied the messages were romantic, but later said he loved the student and envisioned a future with her after she graduated.

Botsford has been released on his own recognizance but ordered not to contact the girl or her family. He’s also not allowed to use social media, go to Frenchtown High School or have teenagers other than his daughter in his home.

Botsford’s attorney says he was already staying away from the school voluntarily.

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