A former teacher and soccer coach at Faith Academy private school in Mobile has pleaded not guilty to charges related to an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Jonathan Daniel Sauers, 44, of Semmes, was indicted on charges of a school employee engaging in a sex act with a student under 19 and a school employee engaging in sexual contact with a student under 19.

During an arraignment Monday, he pleaded not guilty.

Investigators said the 16-year-old student’s parents reported her missing in March after she didn’t return home from a trip to Walmart. Her vehicle was later found at Walmart, but there was no sign of the girl. She eventually returned to her car after an hour and a half.

The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office believes Sauers picked the student up at Walmart and drove her to a nearby location where they engaged in sexual contact. When they questioned the girl, she admitted to having a sexual relationship with the teacher. Investigators believe the two were in an inappropriate relationship for several months.

Sauers was arrested on campus. He was later booked into the Mobile County Jail and released on bond.

civil suit concerning the relationship has been filed against Sauers and the school.

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