An English teacher at Camden Hills Regional High School was charged on Tuesday for the fourth time within the last year and a half for violating two former partners’ no-contact orders and is currently on administrative leave from the school.
On Wednesday, Maine District Court Judge Eric Walker ordered the teacher, Todd Williams, 55, of Camden, to be held without bail as he faces what the judge described as a “flurry of criminal cases” in Knox and Waldo counties. The district attorney is asserting that Williams violated a protection from abuse order three times since July, in addition to violating his conditions of release twice. Williams remains at the Waldo County Jail in Belfast.
Police arrested Williams on Aug. 12 for allegedly calling a woman who had taken out a protection from abuse order against him, which prohibited him from contacting her.
After being released on bail after that arrest, Williams continued to follow the woman at a Camden running event on Sept. 8, apparently trying to get her to register him for the race, even though she kept trying to get away from him, said Rosemarie Guimaraes, Waldo County assistant district attorney. The woman called 911, but Williams followed her to her car and stood outside it.
Williams then called the woman again on Tuesday, despite the no-contact order still being in place, Guimaraes said, prompting his most recent arrest. The Bangor Daily News does not name alleged victims without their permission.
“The state finds that this is intentional, manipulative behavior on the defendant and is very concerned with the victim’s safety,” she said.
In addition, Williams was charged in February 2022 for violating a different former partner’s no-contact order, according to court records, though that charge was ultimately dismissed.
In an email to school officials, the alleged victim in the current cases said she fears Williams.
“It probably goes without saying that I continue to feel threatened and, at the risk of hyperbole, even terrorized by this man. Were I the parent of a young woman at the high school, I would most certainly want to know about this pattern of behavior,” she wrote to the superintendent and a school board member on Aug. 28.
Williams’ attorney, Darrick Banda, said the allegations stem from the breakdown of a personal relationship and do not involve students. Williams was hired by the Camden school district in 1997.
“None of the allegations against Todd involve violence or causing anyone harm. Nothing occurred on school grounds or involved anyone connected with the school. They certainly do not involve children or have really anything to do with Todd’s position at Camden Hills Regional High School,” Banda said.
Williams has pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
The BDN requested information from the school district about any discipline that Williams has faced in the past, but there were no available records. Teachers’ personnel records are confidential unless the school board reaches a decision about discipline.
“I can’t discuss ongoing personnel matters, but I can confirm that Mr. Williams has been on administrative leave since the beginning of the school year,” Five Town Community School District Superintendent Maria Libby said.
The Camden high school’s Facebook page posted a picture of Williams with a large group of teachers on Aug. 29, which was the day teachers returned to school. Freshman orientation was Aug. 31, and the first full day for students was Sept. 5.
The alleged victim, who is a trail runner, received a temporary protection order on June 30 and an 18-month order on July 24, which prohibits Williams from contacting her; going to her home, school, business or place of employment; attending a local trail running group’s runs or events; or “stalking or following” her.
In her request for protection, the woman told the court Williams had been “verbally abusive and threatening” during their relationship and that he had been harassing and stalking her since she ended their relationship in the spring.
“When I would ask him to leave my home, he would also refuse. On at least one instance, he physically prevented me from leaving the premises. He would also appear at my home and attempt to gain entry even when I had asked [him] to stay away,” she described in court records.
When she told him in writing to stop contacting her, he continued to email and text. When she told him again to stop, he then “made several attempts to come to my home,” she told the court.
So her attorney sent Williams a letter telling him not to contact the woman or her family. But Williams then messaged the woman’s mother and twice showed up to the woman’s early morning trail running group, according to her request for the order.
The woman has asked the court to extend her no-contact order for five years. A judge has not yet ruled on that Aug. 31 request.
Though the protection order prohibits Williams from having any contact with the alleged victim, he called her on Aug. 12, according to court records. He said his phone accidentally dialed her while he was running a trail in Camden Hills State Park. The call was made on a day and time when Williams knew she usually runs on that trail, however, according to the woman’s motion for an extended no-contact order.
Since his arrest on Aug. 12, he has continued to follow her, the woman said.
“While in a relationship, trail running was something Plaintiff did, but Defendant did not do. However, since the parties separated, Defendant has been running on trails he knows Plaintiff frequents on dates and times she is likely to be there,” court records state.
For instance, on Aug. 20, after Williams’ first arrest, he drove back and forth by the woman as she was running on a road in Lincolnville to access some trails. He then went onto the trails he knew she would be using because she followed a consistent running schedule, according to court records.
He also signed up to run a 100-mile race in October despite knowing she had already signed up and had been training for months to run it, her court records state. The back-and-forth race, along a narrow, wooded trail, requires participants to run closely past each other many times over the course of a 24-hour period, sometimes in the middle of the night.
Banda, Williams’ attorney, said both of Williams’ phone calls to the woman were inadvertent.
“Another allegation of contact occurred at a public event that the two happened to be attending at the same time. This incident was investigated by the police and they determined at the time that no crime had occurred. That did not stop the DA’s Office from bringing the charge,” Banda wrote in an email.
Williams also faced allegations of not abiding by a no-contact order last year. The other former partner, who previously worked as an English teacher at the high school, received a temporary no-contact order against him in November 2021 and a two-year order in February 2022.
In her request for the order, the former teacher described Williams’ behavior as controlling and erratic. He did not leave her alone when she asked him to, she described. At one point she barricaded herself in a bedroom, pushing a desk against the door, but he pushed through anyway, prompting her to retreat to the bathroom.
“If he’s not pulled up short and shown that he can’t break rules, he’s going to keep doing it,” the woman said.
Despite the no-contact order, he emailed her on Feb. 28, 2022, according to a copy of the email, and was charged for doing so. Williams pleaded not guilty, and the district attorney dismissed the case a year later, according to court records.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence and would like to talk with an advocate, call 866-834-4357, TRS 800-787-3224. This free, confidential service is available 24/7 and is accessible from anywhere in Maine.