According to Lake Stevens Police, Mark Hein, 55, was arrested on Tuesday and was booked into Snohomish County Jail for two counts of fourth-degree assault with sexual motivation, two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, and two counts of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, all gross misdemeanors punishable up to 364 days in jail and $5,000 in fines.
Fox 13 reported that Hein was placed on administrative leave by the district in mid-August when the allegations were brought to the school's attention.
The district said in a statement, "We are fully cooperating with the police investigation and the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office throughout this process. Our focus remains on the education and support of our students. We have an incredibly strong community, and we will continue to work together to get through this challenging time.
"We encourage our students and employees to report any instance of inappropriate conduct. All reports will be taken seriously and thoroughly investigated. Our number one priority is to provide a safe and secure learning environment for our students and staff, and we will always act in the interest of caution. Emergencies should be reported to 911. Non-emergency information can be shared with any staff member or on the anonymous SafeSchools Tip Line."
It is not yet clear if the child or children involved were students of Lake Stevens High School or not.
The superintendent for the Lake Stevens School District Dr. Ken Collins, said in a statement that the district has fully cooperated with the investigation and the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office.
"I know that this significantly impacts our Viking Community, and the Lake Stevens Community as a whole. Please know that there are many aspects and details of this investigation that we legally cannot comment on. We are not attempting to hide anything or to minimize the situation. We are simply bound by confidentiality laws that disallow us from discussing details. Our focus remains on the education and support of our students."
He added, "While we are unable to provide further details, support is available to any student who needs it. We have an incredibly strong community, and we will continue to work together to get through this challenging time."
Investigators said there may be other victims who have not yet come forward and anyone who believes they may have been a victim or has information about victims is asked to call the Lake Stevens Police Department.
According to the Lynnwood Times, this is the second time in recent years that there have been allegations against a Lake Stevens High School teacher. Thomas "Chris" Mattingly was put on administrative leave for sexual misconduct, for allegedly having a relationship with a student.
Mattingly reportedly left the school and relocated to a district in Shepherd, Montana where he was subsequently put on leave for another alleged sexual misconduct incident. However, the outlet reported that prosecutors did not file charges since the student was of the age of 18 and had graduated after the relationship started.
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