A Christian school teacher from Seattle, Wash., was charged with sexual misconduct involving a child this month for an incident that allegedly occurred in 2012. Although he was only recently arrested, complaints about the teacher date back more than 15 years.
The 45-year-old man is accused of inappropriate behavior with a 13-year-old girl during a field trip, according to The Seattle Times. The teacher was placed on leave by the private Christian school earlier this year and will not be returning next school year. He has been a teacher at the school since 1997. King County prosecutors say student complaints to the school about the teacher's inappropriate touching date to 1999.
According to court documents, on numerous occasions the teacher told the girl she was attractive and touched her before and after class. After he touched her again during a field trip, the student told her parents. The girl's parents informed the school's then-principal and another administrator, but “nothing came of the complaint.” The student eventually transferred to another school.
Police learned of the incident last January and began investigating. They obtained a file from the school superintendent's office detailing two additional incidents of the teacher touching other students, a 14-year-old- girl in 1999 and a seventh-grade girl in during the 2003-2004 school year.
Police tried to interview the teacher, but he has retained an attorney and has not spoken to police.
Under the Revised Code of Washington State, a person is guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree (RCW 9A.44.093) when:
- The person has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of 18 to have, sexual intercourse with another person who is at least 16 years old but less than 18 years old and not married to the perpetrator, if the perpetrator is at least 60 months older than the victim, is in a significant relationship to the victim, and abuses a supervisory position within that relationship in order to engage in or cause another person under the age of 18 to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim;
- The person is a school employee who has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of 18 to have, sexual intercourse with an enrolled student of the school who is at least 16 years old and not more than 21 years old and not married to the employee, if the employee is at least 60 months older than the student; or
- The person is a foster parent who has, or knowingly causes another person under the age of 18 to have, sexual intercourse with his or her foster child who is at least 16.
Sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree is a class C felony (RCW 9a.20.021) punishable by a five-year prison term or a $10,000 fine or both.
Sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree (RCW 9A.44.096) is similar to first degree, but instead of “sexual intercourse,” the perpetrator has had “sexual contact” with the victim. Sexual misconduct with a minor in the second degree is a gross misdemeanor (RCW 9.92.020) punishable by up to a year in jail and up to a $5,000 fine.
No matter the crime, every defendant has a right to representation by a qualified attorney. If you have been arrested and face criminal charges, call the Seattle law office of Steve Karimi at (206) 621-8777 or contact him online.