A Bellevue Christian School teacher has been accused of molesting a 13-year-old girl, according to court papers filed Wednesday. Complaints of his inappropriate touching made to the private school date as far back as 2001.
A Bellevue Christian School teacher has been charged with one count of second-degree child molestation, accused of molesting a 13-year-old student during a field trip in 2012.
Edward Sloan, 45, of Seattle, was placed on leave by the private school in January after the incident was reported to Clyde Hill police, according to charging documents filed Wednesday. Sloan has been a teacher at the school since 1997.
In addition, King County prosecutors say student complaints to the school about Sloan’s inappropriate touching date as far back as 2001.
In a statement, Interim Bellevue Christian School Superintendent Tim Krell said the school is reviewing its safety guidelines and protocols following the allegations against Sloan.
Most Read Local Stories
- After decades of neglect, old seminary at Saint Edward State Park reopens as $57M hotel
- Five months and $100,000 later, Seattle City Council asks: Where are the street sinks?
- Coronavirus daily news updates, May 7: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the world
- Some I-5 northbound lanes reopen after trucks crash, food spills near Pierce County line
- COVID-19 death toll is more than double the official count, UW analysis suggests
The girl allegedly molested on the field trip, identified in the documents as A.C., told investigators she had multiple classes with Sloan, including science and wood shop. Her father told police that Sloan once told him he had a “special connection” with the girl.
According to the charges:
A.C. was 12 when Sloan started telling her she was pretty and attractive, and inappropriately touched her numerous times during and after class.
After the incident during the field trip, A.C. told her parents, but did not disclose all of the details because she was uncomfortable.
A.C.’s parents immediately notified then-Bellevue Christian School Principal Sue Tameling and junior high Vice Principal Mike Olson, telling them Sloan had touched their daughter’s buttocks. Nothing came of the complaint, prosecutors wrote in the charging documents.
A.C.’s parents told police they felt Tameling did not take the complaint seriously, and “swept it under the rug.”
A.C. finished out the school year at Bellevue Christian before transferring to another school.
Clyde Hill police were notified of the allegation in January, prompting an officer to call Sloan and ask him to come to the station. Sloan retained an attorney and has not spoken to police, the charges say.
On Jan. 14, school administrators told police they had found a file in the superintendent’s office detailing two additional allegations of improper touching and conduct against Sloan.
The first incident happened in the fall of 1999, when a 14-year-old girl alleged Sloan grabbed her breast after asking about the pocket on her fleece top. Charges say the incident was disclosed to the school in late 2001, but an investigation by the school principal was inconclusive.
The next allegation against Sloan occurred during the 2003-2004 school year and was reported to the school in 2005. A girl who was in seventh grade at the time alleged that Sloan made a “beeline” toward her while she was standing in the lunch line with a friend and unzipped her jacket without warning.
She said Sloan told her he did it to see what her shirt said, which made her uncomfortable.
Jamie Sipma, interim principal when that complaint surfaced, told Clyde Hill police that Sloan accused the girl and her friend of being “liars, storytellers and fabricators.” Sipma said she believed the girl, and the complaint was left on the desk of then-Superintendent Ron Taylor, according to the charges.
Sipma said Sloan demanded that no documentation about the incident be put in his file, and he became angry with a school counselor for passing on information about complaints against him.
Sipma told police the incident was “whitewashed,” the charges allege.
In his statement, Interim Superintendent Krell said all Bellevue Christian School employees undergo a screening process that includes validation of their credentials, fingerprinting and a full background check.
Sloan will be on administrative leave for the rest of this school year and will not be returning for the 2016-2017 school year, Krell said.