A Flathead County man pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to three felony charges related to the sexual assault of an underage teenage girl.
John Paul Wehrman, who lists his current residence in Bigfork, entered his plea in front of District Court Judge Amy Eddy and remains free after posting a $75,000 bond last week. The 65-year-old man is accused of having sex with the girl beginning as early as 2018 and continuing through late 2019 at his residences in Somers and Bigfork.
According to charging documents filed in Flathead County District Court in late September, Wehrman’s first sexual contact with the girl came when she was 15 years old.
Wehrman was an employee of Cayuse Prairie School District before retiring on June 10. Superintendent Amy Piazzola said Wehrman worked as a technology employee and was placed on leave when the district was notified of a possible criminal issue, although she did not specify when that happened. In an email to the Beacon, Piazzola wrote, “the district has no reason to believe Mr. Wehrman ever engaged in inappropriate conduct while on school property and he did not have unsupervised access to students.”
Kalispell Public Schools Superintendent Micah Hill confirmed Wehrman also worked for School District 5 as a driver’s education instructor beginning in July 2012. Wehrman likewise retired from that job in June 2020. A review of Wehrman’s personnel file “does not reflect any discipline imposed on the employee,” Hill said.
Each of the three felony charges Wehrman is facing carry a possible term of up to 100 years in prison.
Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup.
Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox.