Kentlake High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kentlake High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Former Kentlake High teacher charged with sex crime

Accused of communication with a minor for immoral purposes in messages to student

A former Kentlake High School science teacher faces a charge of communication with a minor for immoral purposes after he allegedly told a 15-year-old student “that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her.”

King County prosecutors charged Jesse Webb, 44, on April 27 for incidents that reportedly occurred between Oct. 1, 2022 and Dec. 15, 2022. King County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Webb Dec. 16, 2022 at his Kent home. He was booked into the King County jail and released the next day on $50,000 bail after his first court appearance.

The state did not rush file the case, but moved forward with it in April.

“The defendant used his position as a teacher to initiate inappropriate communication (with the student),” according to charging papers submitted by Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Sergis. “This communication occurred outside of school hours and the defendant engaged in grooming behavior. He bought her gifts, commented on her physical appearance, told her he loved her and that he wanted to have sex with her.

“When alone in his classroom, the defendant kissed (the girl) on her neck and hugged her on more than one occasion.”

Webb is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. May 11 in the GA Courtroom at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

The Kent News first reported the incident Dec. 9, 2022 after the Kentlake principal sent an email to parents about a staff member placed on administrative leave after allegations of inappropriate behavior.

According to the April 26 personnel report from the Kent School District, Webb resigned from the district but is receiving pay through Aug. 18, 2023. The district removed his name from the online Kentlake High staff directory after his arrest.

According to charging papers, detectives were told that Webb might be acting inappropriately with a student.

Detectives learned that the student reportedly would meet with Webb in his classroom after school when she waited for her ride home. They also started to communicate through Instagram. He would tell her she looked “hot” when she dressed a certain way and started calling her “babe” and “cupcake,” according to court documents.

He reportedly took the girl on a drive one day and pulled out $700 in cash and told her he wanted to take her to the makeup store.

Detectives found Instagram conversations between Webb and the student on her phone. Detectives also executed a search warrant on Webb’s residence and seized his iPhone.

When detectives arrested Webb, he declined to provide a statement.

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