UPDATE: Charges were dropped January 17, 2017
ORIGINAL STORY -- A teacher at Bellevue Christian School accused of molesting a 13-year-old student in 2012 was charged Thursday. Police say school records show there have been complaints against the teacher going back 17 years.
Edward Thomas Sloan is charged with second-degree child molestation.
The King County Prosecutor's Office said in charging documents Sloan molested the 7th-grade girl during a field trip to the Museum of Flight. Sloan also allegedly made inappropriate contact with the girl before that incident in a woodshop classroom.
Probable cause documents from the Clyde Hill Police Department say the girl reported the incident after the field trip to her parents. The parents immediately reported it to the then-BCS High School principal and Junior High vice principal. But the parents said they felt the principal didn't take the accusations seriously and "swept it under the rug." Sloan remained on staff.
The girl transferred the following year to another school.
The girl eventually reported the alleged molestation to police this year, which began an investigation. Police say interim superintendent Tim Krell and current BCS High School principal Blake DeYoung agreed to cooperate and provide records on Sloan.
Police say superintendent Krell found a file with information about other incidents of alleged improper touching. One happened in 1999 involving a 14-year-old freshman who was on the cross country team when Sloan was the coach. The other occurred in 2004 when a 7th grader said Sloan unzipped her sweater in a hallway "to see what her shirt said."
Police say Sloan obtained an attorney when police asked to question him in January and he has yet to speak with law enforcement.
Sloan is now on leave from the school.
"The defendant has a clear pattern of inappropriate behavior with female students and should not be teaching minors, particularly minor females," said prosecutors.
Sloan has been a teacher at Bellevue Christian School since 1997.
Krell on Thursday released the following statement:
We have been informed that the King County Prosecuting Attorney has charged an employee at the Clyde Hill campus of Bellevue Christian School with Child Molestation in the Second Degree for an alleged incident that occurred in the Spring of 2012.
We take this situation very seriously and we are cooperating fully with all requests by law enforcement and the King County Prosecuting Attorney.
The staff member remains on administrative leave through the end of this school year and is not returning for the 2016-17 school year.
The safety and security of our Bellevue Christian School community is priority number one. All employees undergo a screening process that includes validation of their credentials, fingerprinting, and a full background check. A full review of our safety guidelines and protocols is currently in process.
If you have additional questions on this matter, we advise you to contact the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s office regarding the matter.