Case against former Glen Lake teacher bound over to circuit court

Mar. 21—TRAVERSE CITY — A former Glen Lake Community Schools band director waived his right to a preliminary examination Wednesday and the case was bound over to circuit court.

Elijah Daniel George, 26, of Traverse City, has pleaded not guilty to three counts of surveilling an unclothed person and three counts of using a computer to commit a crime, according to court records.

The charges against him were prompted by a Jan. 24 call to the Leelanau County Sheriff's Office about a teacher "possibly taking inappropriate photos of students," according to a news statement. On Jan. 26, George resigned.

He was arrested Feb. 15 in Maryville, a small city South of Port Huron. He was then taken to Leelanau County Jail and arraigned the following day.

Wednesday's court proceedings for George took place via Zoom in 86th District Court in Traverse City before Judge Robert Cooney.

Jessie Williams, George's attorney, said an offer for a plea deal had been made and that they hoped to resolve the matter.

"We've had communication, I've offered a counteroffer, so to speak, and we're waiving the exam," Williams said. "With that said, Mr. George is aware of the possible maximum penalty. He's aware of the charges, and he understands this is a voluntary paper, that he's waiving this right to a preliminary case."

According to state sentencing statues, if convicted of all six counts, George could face up to 45 years in prison and fines totaling $30,000.

Cooney said George's bond would continue under the same conditions, which stipulate that he cannot leave the state, consume drugs or alcohol, exhibit any violent behavior, teach at any schools with minors, use any electronic devices except to talk to his lawyers, or talk to people under the age of 18.

His next court date is set for April 22 at 13th Circuit Court in Traverse City.