Bullard teacher confessed to drugging woman for sex, warrant says

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A Bullard High School teacher will have to overcome a pair of confessions (KFSN)

A Bullard High School teacher will have to overcome a pair of confessions if he is going to defend himself against rape charges.

Police say Donald Mayhew confessed to two people that he drugged a woman he knew before engaging in sexual conduct with her -- sometimes after she'd already fallen asleep.

Mayhew had very little to say from the moment he walked into court Wednesday -- to plead not guilty to rape and poisoning -- until he left again, still free on a $105,000 bond. But a search warrant reveals he talked a lot more during the investigation.

Police say he admitted putting Ambien in a woman's drinks occasionally, then having sexual relations with her -- sometimes starting while she was still awake but sometimes after she'd already fallen asleep.

"What hurts the defendant most, in this case, is it seems like he already admitted a lot of this," said legal analyst Tony Capozzi. "Then again, you never know until the time the trial comes if you can explain away the comments that he already made."

The woman told police she was in denial at first and thought she might even have a tumor. But she eventually reported it and even helped police get two confessions mentioned in the warrant obtained by Action News.

The delayed report may be the first line of attack for Mayhew's defense.

"The complaint from the complaining witness was brought in June of 2017, approximately 27 months after the incident," said defense attorney Marc Days.

Police believe Mayhew drugged her several times between 2013 and 2015. But legal analyst Tony Capozzi says the alleged crime itself could create problems for prosecutors.

Because the victim's memory was affected, he says she may not be able to give specifics. And Days argued her late report was reason enough for the judge to not raise Mayhew's bail, as requested by prosecutor Dennis Verzosa.

"The complaining witness apparently did not believe Mr. Mayhew was a danger to her based on how long it took to bring these allegations," Days said.

Mayhew was a Fresno Bee reporter for decades before he started teaching English and supervising the school newspaper at Bullard. None of the crimes involve students or the school, but Fresno Unified put him on paid administrative leave when police arrested him and they tell us he's still on paid leave.
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