Court docs: Battle Ground teacher accused of choking wife

Michael Brotherton photo courtesy Battle Ground Public Schools

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. – A Battle Ground teacher is accused of strangling his wife on several occasions and may also have molested his children, according to court documents.

Michael Jon Brotherton is an eighth-grade teacher at Laurin Middle School.

His wife filed an order for protection on Feb. 12, 2018 after she learned her husband may have touched her daughters inappropriately.

However, in a probable cause affidavit, she also stated Brotherton had smothered her, choked her and strangled her several times in the past. She said she never reported these incidents of abuse, but went to authorities after she learned her children may have been affected.

In the court document, the woman said the most recent choking incident occurred on Feb. 3. She said her husband was angry when she arrived home late from a class. He grabbed her face, covered her mouth and restricted her airway. She said the attack caused the inside of her mouth to bleed.

She said he was attacking her monthly by putting his hand over her nose and mouth and restricting her air-flow.

In January, he said he took her keys and phone and prevented her from leaving the house.

She said in one attack, on or around Sept. 18, 2016, she lost consciousness while Brotherton strangled her. She said in this instance, she thought he was going to kill her.

As she tried to call 9-1-1, she said he took her phone and broke it.

A few days later, when her phone was repaired, she took photographs of the bruises on her neck and wrists and sent them to her parents. She told them to keep them in case something happened to her. She then deleted them from her own phone.

In a petition for order for protection, Brotherton’s wife said, “He has on numerous occasions [said] he will kill me if I leave him.”

She also said Brotherton abused his first wife and referred investigators to three cases reported in Clark County.

She said the violence began when she was pregnant. At one time, she said Brotherton told her he would kill her if she ever tried to divorce him.

In response to the petition, Brotherton insisted their marriage has been “loving and caring.” He denied all allegations and took a polygraph test.

In the test, he denied touching his daughters sexually and the test found his responses truthful.

He also denied choking his wife and threatening to kill her. These responses were also considered truthful from the test.

In a statement, Battle Ground Public Schools said, "The district is aware of the charges that have been filed against Michael Brotherton and is investigating.... Our schools are closed this week due to spring break. The district will make a determination about Michael Brotherton's status prior to school resuming on Monday, April 9."

Brotherton was placed on administrative leave over spring break.

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