Noblesville teacher charged with child seduction

Facing 11 felony counts, 2 misdemeanors

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. - A Noblesville High School teacher was charged Thursday with allegedly having unlawful relationships with two students.

Michael Andrew Douce, 31, was employed as the assistant director of choirs at Noblesville High School until December, when the school confirmed it was "beginning the process of terminating employment" of a then-unidentified teacher.

Probable cause documents filed Thursday at the Hamilton County Superior Court show Douce is facing two misdemeanor and 11 felony charges, including dissemination of matter harmful to minors, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and child seduction.

The charges stem from alleged relationships with two female students at Noblesville High School, both between the ages of 16 and 18.

Police said they were tipped off to the alleged relationships by the mother of one of the girls, who had become "suspicious" of her daughter's relationship with Douce.

According to court documents, the woman told police she found naked photos of Douce on her daughter's cell phone, as well as text messages saying he loved her.

Police said they interviewed the underage student, who stated that she had sent and received naked pictures from Douce, and also that "she loved Michael Douce and he loved her."

The student told police her relationship with Douce allegedly began over winter break during the 2013-2014 school year, when Douce "started texting her every day … and started becoming flirty."

According to the probable cause, Douce and the student kissed inside the light booth of the high school. Court documents further state that Douce and the student allegedly had sexual intercourse "30-50 times" at Noblesville High School, as well as multiple other occasions at Douce's home, where he allegedly provided her with alcoholic drinks.

On one occasion, the student told police that Douce was nearly caught at her residence when her mother and her boyfriend came home unexpectedly.

Texts found on the student's phone allegedly sent by Douce appear to confirm the incident.

"I see the headline now," Douce allegedly wrote. "High school choir teacher caught naked on elementary school playground fleeing from student-girlfriend's home."

Douce allegedly also texted the student that, "If I'm labeled as a pedaphile (sic) and a sexual predator … I don't plan on being alive for very long."

Douce is also facing a charge of burglary for allegedly entering an underage student's home with the intent to commit child seduction in connection with that incident.

A second 16-year-old female student also told police she had a sexual relationship with Douce. Much like the first incident, this student told police it began with texting, followed by physical contact at the high school and then oral sex in the girl's dressing room of Noblesville High School, as well as at Douce's home and inside his vehicle.

The girl also told police Douce provided her with alcoholic beverages.

Noblesville High School officials released a statement Thursday confirming that Douce had been terminated for inappropriate conduct.

"We removed Mr. Douce from student contact as soon as we become aware of this situation in December, and have provided counseling services for all students in his class," Noblesville HS administrators said in an email statement. "We are angry with Mr. Douce for violating our trust, and more importantly the trust of his students. We are saddened for the victims impacted by his actions, and our thoughts go out to them and their families."

Douce also worked as the family worship leader for Old Bethel United Methodist Church in Indianapolis. Lead Pastor Rev. Jerry Rairdon released a statement to RTV6 on Thursday after the charges were first reported.

"We are certainly saddened by the news of these charges," Rairdon wrote. "Michael Douce had requested a leave of absence three weeks ago and of course his employment is suspended pending the outcome of these charges. We have a child protection policy in place at the church and have never experienced any violations of this policy by Mr. Douce. We have made ourselves available to his wife and family and will do whatever we can to support them in this process. Our prayers will be with ALL the families impacted by these events."

A $50,000 bond was set for Douce, who turned himself in on Thursday, officials said.

This is a developing story. Check with RTV6 for updates.

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