Librarian accused of sexual misconduct takes a plea

Elizabeth Ann Kinkade
Elizabeth Ann Kinkade

OKANOGAN – Elizabeth Anne KinKade, the Tonasket High School Librarian accused of five counts of sexual misconduct with an 18-year-old student, has pleaded guilty in Okanogan County Superior Court to one one count of sexual misconduct with a minor and the court dismissed the other four.

KinKade, 37, Tonasket, was arrested May 20, 2014 for sexual misconduct with a minor after admitting to school officials, as well as police, that she had been having an affair with an 18-year-old Tonasket High School Student. Although the student was over 18 and the affair took place off school grounds, in the librarian’s home and in her car, state law makes it clear that such conduct as a school employee is illegal.

Her employment with the school district was terminated Wednesday, May 21, according to Superintendent Paul Turner.

“School employee/student relationships are based on the trust that a student’s well-being is of utmost importance,” Turner said in a statement at the time. “When this trust is broken, it is the duty of the administration and school board to react swiftly and directly.”

On May 19, Tonasket administration received substantiated evidence of misconduct by Mrs. KinKade. Mrs. KinKade, a classified librarian at Tonasket Middle/High School, was immediately put on administrative leave. A special board meeting was convened on May 21 to address this employee issue. Upon reviewing the evidence, the board voted unanimously to terminate Mrs. KinKade effective immediately.

According to the Tonasket Police Report, School Superintendent Paul Turner and KinKade met Monday, May 19, with Kinkade’s union representative present and she admitted to the affair.

On Tuesday, May 20, Officer Fuller questioned the student at the police station and he too admitted to the affair, saying the librarian and he had intercourse five times, all off school grounds. Fuller called Elizabeth KinKade to the police station where she made a statement, again admitting to the affair, which she said had been going on for one to two months.

At her arraignment in June KinKade had pleaded not guilty to all five counts.

Sentencing is forthcoming, pending a pre-sentencing investigation done by the Washington State Department of Corrections.