Auburn teacher suspected of trying to meet boy for sex on paid leave

VIDEO: Investigation underway into Auburn teacher

A teacher from Auburn Riverside High School is on paid leave after video surfaced of him allegedly trying to meet up with a teen boy for sex.

The video was recorded in a Texas Walmart and uploaded to YouTube in July by a group called “Predator Poachers.” The video remained online for five months before someone realized the man accused in it is a science teacher, water polo and boys swim coach at Auburn Riverside High School.

KIRO 7 has also learned it’s not the first time he’s been under investigation.

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A former student told KIRO 7 that she was in disbelief watching the video.

"I saw that my former classmates were sharing the video," 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, kind of like, take a moment to process."

“The school knew everything. They covered it up.”

KIRO 7 is not identifying this woman because she says her son is a victim of sexual abuse. The mother says she got sick to her stomach when she saw the video online showing a man inside a Houston, Texas Walmart to allegedly meet an underage boy for sex.

The mom says she reported him to the district and police back in 2009 for inappropriate contact with her son, who was a student of his at the time.

“They knew, they did nothing to protect him. They knew he was a predator. They did nothing,” the mom said.

The Auburn School District said it first became aware of the video when a former student shared it with them last week. The teacher was put on paid administrative leave Friday as the district launched an investigation.

The group that confronted the teacher also posted a conversation from a gay dating app allegedly involving the teacher who was speaking to someone posing as the 14-year-old boy. In the alleged conversation, it's made clear that the teacher would be meeting up with a minor for sex at the Walmart.

When confronted, the teacher asks on camera, "What are you talking about?" He's then followed out of the store and into a parking lot. 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 would be the lead on the investigation since the confrontation happened in Texas.

Auburn Police confirm the teacher was investigated twice - in 2009 and 2016 for suspicious activity. But Commander Mike Hirman says there was not sufficient information to develop probable cause for an arrest.

“The information we received had to do with social websites, and some inappropriate comments. And another a young man in 2009 had reported he was approached or inappropriate comments made to him on his cell phone,” Hirman explained.

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

Formal charges against the teacher have not been filed so KIRO 7 is not reporting his name or showing his face in the video.

"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 had been investigated before because of any similar allegations but told KIRO 7 counselors would be available for extra support Monday for students and staff as needed.

The Auburn School District said it has an anonymous tip line to report anything suspicious:

Online: http://1258.alert1.us Email: 1258@alert1.us Phone: 855.790.9375 Text: 855.790.9375

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