Meriden man, Berlin High School teacher charged with having sexual relationship with student

Meriden man, Berlin High School teacher charged with having sexual relationship with student

reporter photo

MERIDEN — A city man and teacher at Berlin High School faces charges after police said he had a sexual relationship with a student. 

Michael Cwirka, 29, of 882 N. Colony Road Apt. 9, Meriden, was arrested on Monday and charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault and five counts of fourth-degree sexual assault. He was arraigned in Meriden Superior Court on Tuesday.

On Feb. 12, Meriden police began investigating a report of sexual assault allegations involving Cwirka, a teacher at Berlin High School, and a student at the school, dating back to the 2016-17 academic year, according to Cwirka’s arrest warrant. 

Cwirka, who teaches math and is the head coach of the girls swimming team, was placed on leave in February. School officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday on the status of his employment.

The student disclosed the relationship to her therapist and said it occurred while she was 17 years old and a senior at the school. The initial investigation showed the alleged sexual contact occurred in Meriden. 

Police interviewed the student, who said Cwirka was her swim coach and class advisor. She told investigators about several instances of sexual contact, including incidents in February and March 2017, the warrant said. 

The student’s mother gave police a cell phone record showing the student and Cwirka exchanged 2,117 text messages between March 18, 2017, and April 17, 2017.

During Cwirka’s arraignment, Deputy Assistant State’s Attorney Kelly Davis said the charges carry a mandatory minimum jail sentence.

Attorney Ryan McGuigan, who represents Cwirka, said outside of court that Cwirka “categorically denies” the allegations.

Cwirka was released on $75,000 bond and is next scheduled to appear in Meriden Superior Court on Oct. 9. 

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