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Judge refuses to let alleged pot-peddling teacher near kids

Runciman’s request to live in the same house as a teenager denied
By: Scott Thomas Anderson, Editor
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Ian Runciman’s list of growing problems may soon include being homeless.

The Roseville resident and former Rocklin grammar school teacher appeared in court today to ask that an order be amended that bars him from contact with anyone under the age of 18. Runciman, 38, was arrested in March on charges he supplied marijuana and alcohol to high school students whom he’d first met through his career as a math instructor at Granite Oaks Middle School.

A court order has been issued preventing Runciman from any contact with minors. On March 25, Runciman’s attorney, Adam Richards, successfully lobbied Placer County Superior Court Judge Eugene S. Gini Jr. to amend the supervised release in a way that allowed the defendant to have contact with children who were members of his own family.

Today, Richards asked Placer County Superior Court Judge Mark Curry to further amend the order to allow Runciman to move into a house with a woman who had two kids who were not related to the suspended teacher.

“The place Mr. Runciman is living at will soon be no longer available,” Richards told the court. “Mr. Runciman has a close family friend of his living in the area who is willing to let him stay in a guest house. I have a letter from (that woman) for the court saying that she is perfectly comfortable having Mr. Runciman around her children.”

Richards added the minors are 8 and 16 years old.

Placer County Deputy District Attorney Lisa Botwinik told Curry she was fighting that request.

“The people are in opposition because of the fact the case does involve furnishing marijuana to minors, and one of the minors living in this house — the one who’s 16 — is the exact same age as the teens involved in what happened,” Botwinik said. “We’re also still investigating (other possible crimes) … which makes me weary to allow this living situation.”

Curry decided to rule against amending the stay-away order, telling Richards, “He’s just going to have to find some place to live where there are no children around.”