Arraignment of Lafayette teacher Michael Merrick was put over until Sept. 8 after his attorney phoned in to report she was caught up in the after effects of Hurricane Irene.
Merrick, 48, was scheduled to be arraigned before Superior Court Judge Brian Haynes Tuesday. But attorney Elizabeth Grossman was apparently among thousands of travelers caught in the air travel tie-up triggered by the weekend storm. She called the court to say she would be unable to make it back to California from the East Coast.
The Stanley Middle School teacher faces 24 felony counts of child molestation and a single misdemeanor charge stemming from his relationship with a 14-year-old student he was tutoring.
Prosecutors allege that Merrick forced a sexual relationship upon the girl, "grooming" her for sexual advances she told police he made during tutoring sessions in his office.
Investigators found that the teacher texted the girl - once more than 100 times in a single day - and sent her inappropriate photos of himself before he was arrested last October.