A 17-year-old girl is defending a married teacher accused of having sex with her while she was a high school student.

The teenager told a judge in Michigan during his arraignment that her former teacher, Tyler David Millward, never forced himself on her.

The girl sat with the disgraced teacher’s attorney during his arraignment Monday and told a judge that an order barring contact between her and the 29-year-old teacher wasn’t necessary.

She told Magistrate Joe Brutsche:

“He has never been a threat and he has never hurt me. He never told me to say anything or push me to do anything against my will. I wish to have contact.”

Police arrested Millward late Friday at the girl’s apartment in East Leroy for allegedly having a sexual relationship with the teen from July 2017 through January, beginning when she was 16 years old.

Tyler David Millward, who lost his job as a science teacher at Athens High School in February, was scheduled to stand trial next month on a domestic violence charge after an altercation in April with his wife in Springfield.

He also used his phone to send texts to the girl and lied to police about the messages. He also lied to investigators about taking her to a hotel, prosecutors claim.

Police said in a statement:

“The charges are a result from the investigation that was opened in January 2018, which Millward was involved in a teacher/student relationship. There are several aspects of the investigation that are ongoing.”

Millward was arraigned on charges of using a computer to communicate with another to commit the crime of third-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of lying to police. If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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