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Police arrested a Los Alamos Middle School teacher today following an investigation into inappropriate behavior with a female student.
Peter Bowman, 47, a resident of El Rancho, has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor. LAPD Detective Division Supervisor Sgt. Oliver Morris obtained a search warrant Monday for incoming and outgoing text and telephone messages between Bowman and a 14-year-old female LAMS student.
The verbiage between the two, from July 22-29, corroborates the girl’s testimony. The conversations were sexual in content and depicted a personal relationship, according to court documents.
In one text message from the girl to Bowman, she asks if she can tell people that “Mr. Bowman” is her “boyfriend,” according to documents. Bowman teaches eighth grade social studies and a seventh and eighth grade Focus Class. He also works as an assistant cross country and track and field coach at Los Alamos High School, according to the New Mexico Activities Association and the LAPS websites.
The girl was in Bowman’s social studies class and he also coached her in track and field.
Police Chief Wayne Torpy spoke about the effect this type of case has on residents. “These are difficult cases for the community and I am pleased that our detectives have taken quick action to make an arrest in this incident,” Torpy said.
District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer ordered Bowman to be held in the Los Alamos County Detention Center on a $20,000 cash or surety bond.
“This has been a difficult investigation,” Police Capt. Randy Foster said. “We’d like to ask anyone with information about this case to contact Det. Sgt. Morris as soon as possible at 662-8222.”
Los Alamos Schools Superintendent Gene Schmidt said in a statement that Bowman had been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation.
“The Los Alamos School District has learned from the Los Alamos Police Department that a teacher was arrested for alleged criminal sexual contact with a minor. Accordingly, the school employee has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation regarding the allegations,” Schmidt said.
“Although the School District did not have any prior knowledge of the allegations, we will cooperate with local law enforcement officials. The School District will also conduct its own personnel investigation. I, as Superintendent of Schools, will serve as the School District’s point of contact during this investigation.
“Parents, students, staff and community members should know that the School District takes these allegations seriously and will take the measures necessary to protect the safety and well-being of its students. Anyone with any information regarding this matter is encouraged to contact my office or local law enforcement. Because this is a personnel matter, the School District is not at liberty to divulge further information at this time.
Check back on lamonitor.com for more details on this developing story.