Editor's note: This story was updated to clarify Arizona's law on sexual conduct with a minor.
A former teacher at Basis Flagstaff has pleaded not guilty to eight counts of felony sexual conduct with a minor, who is a student at the school.
Despite his plea of not guilty, court filings by both the prosecution and defense acknowledge the sexual nature of 26-year-old Treyon Anthony’s relationship with the Basis high school student. Anthony, who has no prior criminal history, was a volunteer coach for the track and field team in addition to his position as a high school teacher for Basis.
Two of the sexual conduct with a minor charges allegedly occurred between April 23 and May 9, with the other six charges stemming from incidents between May 10 and May 14.
Basis Flagstaff, a public charter school in Flagstaff at 1700 N. Gemini Road, oversees 852 students with its population spanning kindergarten through 12th grade.
Prosecutors allege that Anthony violated his position of trust as a teacher and groomed the alleged victim, while Anthony’s attorney Bruce Griffen argued in court his client's conduct was consensual.
However, the age of consent in Arizona is 18 years old and according to Arizona statute 13-1404 regarding sexual abuse, "It is not a defense to a prosecution for a violation of this section that the other person consented if the other person was 15, 16 or 17 years of age and the defendant was in a position of trust."
Police began their investigation into the relationship on June 24, a result of the victim’s father reporting the alleged crimes. Anthony was terminated by Basis on May 24 for conduct unrelated to the arrest, according to Lisa Foreman, the head of school for Basis Flagstaff.
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While Foreman declined to elaborate on the details of the conduct leading to Anthony’s termination, citing privacy constraints, court documents cited alleged inappropriate behavior with other students.
Foreman also declined to answer any specifics in regards to when the school first became aware of the allegations or when it reported them to the police, but confirmed “that we reported it to the police the same day the allegations were brought to our attention. I would think that exact date is reflected in the police report we made.” A full police report was not made available prior to the publication of this article.
Foreman and Basis Flagstaff also released the following statement regarding Anthony’s arrest:
“The safety of our students at Basis Flagstaff is our highest priority. We’ve been stunned and saddened by the allegation that a former teacher engaged in improper conduct with a student. Upon learning this information, school administrators immediately notified the Flagstaff Police Department and initiated an internal review. We will continue to cooperate fully with local authorities, and the individual in question is not an employee and is barred from campus property.”
According to the Flagstaff Police Department, the Mohave County Sheriff's Department arrested Anthony in Kingman on July 25, where he previously lived and where his family still resides, after a warrant was issued on July 16.
Anthony was released without bond on Sept. 5 following a hearing to modify his release conditions. The defendant is now under the supervision of pretrial services and is on house arrest. Additional conditions of Anthony’s release include only leaving his home for court appearances or to meet with his attorney, GPS monitoring, and having no contact with the victim or any other person under the age of 18. While under house arrest, Anthony may only use the phone to speak to his family or attorney, can only use the internet for online classes and is barred from using any form of social media.
Anthony received 18 letters of support from family, friends and a former coworker prior to his Sept. 5 release hearing. Many letters cited Anthony’s background and character, while asking for him to be released from custody as he would not be a flight risk.
Anthony attended Northern Arizona University and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 2017 before becoming a high school teacher at Basis. Anthony's next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 14.