Washington teacher suspected of trying to meet boy for sex at Walmart placed on paid leave

Teacher suspected of attempting to meet boy for sex at Walmart placed on paid leave

AUBURN, Wash. — A high school teacher and coach in Auburn, Washington, is off the job and under investigation after a video surfaced of him being confronted for allegedly trying to meet up with a 14-year-old boy for sex.

Content Continues Below

A former student said she was in disbelief watching the video that allegedly shows the teacher show up at a Walmart to meet the boy for sex.

The video was online for five months before anyone realized the man accused in it is a teacher, water polo and boys swim coach at Auburn Riverside High School.

"I saw that my former classmates were sharing the video of when he appeared trying to meet a 14-year-old boy at Walmart," said a former student of the teacher, Jessica Perez. "I honestly didn't really think it was him at first. I had to pause the video several times and, kinda like, take a moment to process."

The Auburn School District said a former student shared the video with them last week. It allegedly shows one of its science teachers being caught in a sting by a group called "Predator Poachers."

The group confronted the teacher inside a Texas Walmart after posing as a 14-year-old boy and discussing an alleged meetup for sex.

Perez said the teacher had worked at the school since at least the early 2000s and even taught her brother.

Auburn police said they're aware of the video, but Houston police have taken the lead on the investigation.

"We'll do our own investigation. It's not really dependent upon the police investigation," Vicki Alonzo, with the Auburn School District said.

The school district would not confirm the teacher's name and formal charges have not been filed.

"He always came off as a very professional, very stern man, so to find out he's attracted to younger children is just a shock," Perez said.

The school district would not say whether the teacher, who's now on paid leave, had been investigated before for any similar allegations.

The district said grief counselors will be available to students and staff Monday.