ST. ALBANS — A former Missisquoi Valley Union (MVU) high school teacher pleaded not guilty to charges of lewd and lascivious conduct with a child and sexual exploitation of a child in Franklin County Superior Court Tuesday morning.

Darren Haynes, 47, could face a total of up to 20 years in prison for the two felony charges.

The charges stem from alleged incidents that allegedly occurred between 2015 and 2016.

Haynes’ arrest came after a joint investigation by the Northwest Unit for Special Investigations (NUSI) and the Department of Children and Families (DCF).

The investigation began after a March report to DCF.

Investigators interviewed a 16-year-old girl, the alleged subject of sexual advances from Haynes. The girl told investigators Haynes had sexually harassed her when she was in the ninth grade — last year.

The girl told investigators the incidents involving Haynes began when she stayed after school one day to take a test. She said Haynes told her, “If you were older, I would pursue a relationship with you.”

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