OKANOGAN Former Tonasket High School librarian Elizabeth Kinkade has pleaded not guilty to five counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor.
Kinkade, 37, was arraigned Monday morning in Okanogan County Superior Court. Her husband, Mark Kinkade, was by her side.
She is accused of having sex with an 18-year-old male student between March 19 and May 19, according to court documents.
Judge Henry Rawson scheduled Kinkade’s trial for July 29. If she waives her right to a speedy trial, the date would be set for Sept. 2.
Her next court appearance is at 8:30 a.m. July 7, a compliance hearing. A pre-trial status conference is set for 8:30 a.m. July 21.
Each count carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine, plus restitution and other costs.
Rawson informed Kinkade that a sexual assault protection order has been placed against her as a pre-trial measure. Under the order, she cannot be within 300 feet of the student, the school, his residence or place of work.
If Kinkade violates the order, she can be arrested, Rawson said.
The protection order lists the student’s name, but The Chronicle has decided not to print it. He will be 19 years old next month.
Kinkade and her Tonasket-based attorney, Anthony Castelda, both declined to comment after Monday’s hearing.
Mark Kinkade, 43, was arraigned himself Monday afternoon in Okanogan County District Court for a misdemeanor charge of aiming or discharging a firearm.
Details on his arraignment weren’t available before press time.
He and Elizabeth Kinkade were both arrested May 20 at their Tonasket home, the day Elizabeth Kinkade was fired by the Tonasket School Board.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said his deputies were called out to the Kinkades’ home on a report of shots fired.
Elizabeth Kinkade had allegedly told her husband that she “had an affair” with a student, Rogers said, prompting Mark Kinkade to grab a gun from his truck and shoot it into the air.
While deputies were still on the scene, Rogers said Tonasket schools Superintendent Paul Turner arrived in the driveway and asked them to arrest Elizabeth Kinkade as well.
Tonasket police arrested
her and booked her into Okanogan County Jail. She was released the next day on her own recognizance.
Turner said the school administrators had received “substantiated evidence” May 19 of Kinkade’s alleged misconduct. She was immediately placed on administrative leave.
The School Board met the morning of May 21 to consider Kinkade’s resignation, but ultimately chose not to accept it and terminated her employment, Turner said.
In the meantime, he said the district will finish out the school year with current staff rather than hire a new librarian right away.
Tonasket Police Chief Robert Burks said the investigation didn’t turn up any evidence that the alleged incidents happened on school grounds.
Burks also said no other students had come forward with similar accusations.