'Polyamorous' teacher jailed for alleged relationship with teen student

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SEATTLE —

A teacher suspected of molesting a 14-year-old student suddenly disappeared last fall when criminal charges were filed.



Now, KIRO 7 Eyewitness News has learned that 25-year-old Lydia Katz was booked into the downtown Seattle jail just after 9 p.m. Thursday night.



In YouTube videos posted by a man identified as Katz, the former Jewish religion teacher and camp counselor describes his alternative love life.



"I'm not a monogamous person," Katz said in the video, "I'm a polyamorous person. I'm a person who loves openly and expansively."



According to charging documents, a 14-year-old girl's mother found emails between her and Katz.



Katz admitted to the woman that "he was in love" with her daughter, and "begged" her not to notify anyone.



"My career, my freedom," Katz reportedly told the mother, "these things you can destroy with one simple call."



Soon after, a police investigation revealed alleged sexual contact that often took place at a park near Katz's home.



Katz was charged with child molestation and was fired. He then fled the state and his whereabouts were unknown to police.



Katz's next-door neighbors confirmed to KIRO 7 Eyewitness Reporter Amy Clancy that Katz left his north Seattle home suddenly last fall.



At the time, he said that he was planning to move to California. He told his neighbors about the allegations and maintained his innocence.



However, his neighbors thought that it was strange that Katz seemed to have many visitors who were young teens.



Katz is being held behind bars on $150,000 bail. His next court appearance will be next week.



Katz's attorney declined Clancy's request for comment.