Former Idaho professor arrested on drug, burglary charges

Former Idaho professor arrested on drug, burglary charges

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University of Idaho Administration buliding

The University of Idaho administration building in Moscow.

MOSCOW — A former University of Idaho professor was arrested on drug possession and burglary charges after she was fired and banned from the campus, Idaho authorities said.

Denise Bennett, 45, pleaded not guilty to felony burglary and possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, Nez Perce County court officials said. The charges come a month after she was banned from the Moscow campus and shortly after she was fired Sept. 10 for a series of controversies at the university.

The former tenured journalism professor posted a $5,000 bond Tuesday and has a preliminary hearing scheduled Wednesday, officials said.

No attorney was listed for her in online court records. Bennett did not immediately respond to a Facebook message Thursday seeking comment and a phone number listed as hers did not ring.

Bennett was staying with a Lewiston man for a week before moving out Sept. 18, Lewiston and Nez Perce Tribe police departments said.

After she moved out, the man reported his cellphone, some clothing and a charging cord missing, authorities said. The locked trailer had a window broken out.

Lewiston police located Bennett who acknowledged climbing through the trailer's window and taking the phone and charging cord, authorities said.

Police recovered the belongings and also found a refillable vape bottle containing a clear liquid, a blue plastic pen tube with white residue in it and a zippered pouch containing a plastic bag with suspected meth inside, according to police records.

Bennett taught broadcasting, digital media production and documentary filmmaking at the university beginning in 2006.

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