Washington Teacher Sent Sexual Messages to a Fictitious 13-Year-Old Girl, Prosecutors Say


A 29-year-old teacher at a Redmond private school has been criminally charged with four counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, accused of engaging in online sexual conversations with an undercover Seattle police officer he believed was a 13-year-old girl, according to King County prosecutors.

As of May 26, Nathan Williams, of Kirkland, was on staff at the Brighton Academy and taught on site, say the charges filed against him Friday. Jail and court records show Williams was arrested June 2 and posted $70,000 bail the next day. He is to be arraigned June 17.

According to the Brighton Academy's website, the school where Williams taught is located at Redmond Town Center and offers one-on-one instruction and tutoring. The academy has campuses in Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota and Washington and offers private instruction for students in grades 6 through 12, the site says. A voicemail left on the academy's phone line was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Williams is being represented by Kent criminal-defense attorneys Brad Barshis and Charlie Varni, who are awaiting discovery materials in the case.

"We'll work toward showing my client didn't do the things that he's been alleged to have done," Barshis said Wednesday in a brief phone interview.

Williams began communicating with a fictitious girl he knew as "Carli" in April after "matching" with her profile on the dating site OKCupid, say the criminal charges. His messages to an undercover Seattle police officer assigned to the FBI's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force included acknowledgments of "Carli's" purported age, according to the charges.

"The depraved nature of his communications, encouraging the child to have intercourse with a 32-year-old male, and not to report being raped by the same male, demonstrate his risk to the community," Deputy Prosecutor Laura Harmon wrote in charging papers. "Most critically, the defendant holds a position of trust and authority with children in the community as a teacher at a middle and high school that specializes in one-on-one instruction."

Harmon wrote that Williams admitted to police that he has been sexually attracted to his students and has previously had sexually explicit conversations with minors. Per the conditions of his release from jail, Williams was ordered by the court not to have contact with minors without exception, the charges say.

Williams is accused of coaching the fictitious girl in performing sex acts, encouraging her to have unsafe sex, and questioning whether anyone else would be able to view their messages, according to the charges.