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Ex-teacher pleads not guilty to nude photos of former student, trying to cover it up

Union Leader Correspondent

July 10. 2018 8:01PM


LACONIA — A former Wolfeboro high school teacher pleaded not guilty Tuesday to possessing nude photos of a former student, witness tampering and falsifying evidence.

Michael T. Harbrook, 48, of Tilton, was arraigned Tuesday in Belknap County Superior Court, where he entered his plea and was released on $1,500 cash or corporate surety bail.

Formerly employed at Kingswood Regional High School in Wolfeboro as an English teacher, Harbrook surrendered his teaching credentials in February 2017 after Wolfeboro police began investigating an allegation of inappropriate contact with a student.

Harbrook was indicted last month on four counts of possession of child sex abuse images, two counts of witness tampering and one count of falsifying physical evidence.

During Tuesday’s brief hearing, Judge James D. O’Neill III ruled Harbrook eligible for a court-appointed lawyer. The defendant disclosed owning a Tilton home valued at $150,000, but has not lived there in 16 months as he is in the midst of a divorce, Caroline Smith, Harbrook’s public defender, informed the court.

Indictments allege Harbrook possessed four explicit images of a 17-year-old girl between June 1, 2015, and Aug. 31, 2015.

One witness tampering charge alleges that Harbrook in January 2016 told the victim that if she disclosed his actions to police he would kill himself and possibly her.

A second count of tampering alleges Harbrook tried to keep the teen from cooperating with investigators by telling her she would not want the public to know about his conduct, that the charges would harm his family and his students and that she could face legal consequences.

The falsifying evidence charge alleges Harbrook erased content from a Google Drive to keep it from falling into police hands.

As conditions for his release on bail, Harbrook was ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim and to not possess a firearm, drink alcohol or take non-prescribed drugs.

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