11:37 PM: We’ve been working all evening to find out more about an arrest announced by West Seattle High School principal Brian Vance in an early-evening email to families. (Thanks to the many parents who forwarded it to us.) He wrote: “Earlier today, I was notified of the arrest of one of our instructional assistants by the King County Sheriffâ€™s Office,” Vance wrote, adding that the staffer “was immediately placed on administrative leave by Central Office.” His letter named the man, but he is not charged, so we are not publishing his name at this point. The King County Jail Register showed that the 34-year-old man was booked after 9 pm Tuesday for “investigation of sexual abuse of a child” and released at 7 pm tonight after posting bond. According to the jail register, his bail had been set at $20,000. KCSO told us the arrest was one of seven related to what they announced was “an operation to apprehend subjects who have targeted minors for the purposes of prostitution. … Over the course of the two-day operation, detectives posed as an underage girl and engaged in over 900 texts/voice conversations. The ‘underage girl’ arranged to meet the suspects at a local motel. When the men arrived, they were arrested.” Meantime, Vance’s note to families stressed that “the arrest (was) not directly connected to WSHS.” We will be following up tomorrow with both the district and the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.
ADDED 11:17 AM THURSDAY: Just obtained the probable-cause document from the KCPAO. The potential charge is “Attempted Commercial Sexual Abuse of a Minor.” Investigators say that in communication with a detective pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, he agreed to pay “her” $150 for “unprotected sex.” He was arrested when he knocked on the door of a motel room in Seatac around 7:44 pm Tuesday. The document says that after his arrest, he told detectives he “worked as a special-education teacher in Seattle.” He is due back in court tomorrow.
ADDED 1:18 PM: The district is so far declining to answer further questions such as how long the suspect has worked for SPS and whether he was working at any other schools. His online resumĂ©, which has been removed since we looked at it yesterday, said he joined the district early this decade.