QUEENSBURY -- The former Hadley-Luzerne teacher who was jailed last week for having in appropriate contact with two 14-year-old students was released from jail Monday after a state Supreme Court justice stayed his sentence.
Keith D. Powell posted a $20,000 bail bond and was freed from jail five days after he was sentenced to 13 months in Warren County Jail and 3 years on probation.
Supreme Court Justice Robert Muller set bail after he granted a request by Powell's lawyer, Eric Schwenker, to stay the sentence imposed by Lake Luzerne Town Justice Bruce Hayes.
Schwenker asked that the sentence be stayed so that Powell can appeal it, as well as appeal the convictions for endangering the welfare of a child that resulted in the jail term. Warren County Assistant District Attorney Kevin Donlon argued against the stay, but Muller agreed to stay the sentence for 90 days to allow Schwenker to file an appeal.
Such stays are somewhat common in low-level criminal cases in which a defendant does not have a prior criminal record, would serve all or much of the jail term awaiting the results of an appeal, or has the ability to post bail while an appeal is being prepared.
Powell, 58, of Corinth was sentenced Wednesday after Hayes found him guilty of two misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child for kissing a 14-year-old girl, touching the thigh of another and having sex-themed conversations with them that included comments on one's buttocks and the other's breasts.
The contact happened in 2008, and Powell was a music teacher at Stuart M. Townsend Middle School at the time. He retired shortly after the arrest.
The appeal will be heard by Warren County Judge John Hall.