Former Olympia School District teacher Jonathan J. Moore is set to face trial on charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, child molestation, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes. Moore had been on leave from the district since December 2021 before being fired in September 2022. He pleaded not guilty to all charges in March 2022, and his jury trial is scheduled for July 10th.
The case began on August 11th, 2022 when a parent contacted the Olympia Police Department, alleging that Moore had sexually touched a friend’s daughter. The daughter, referred to as the “witness” in court documents, told a 17-year-old student that Moore had touched her sexually. The student victim had been too scared to come forward to his parents about the situation, which had begun years prior.
Moore taught digital media at Jefferson Middle School at the time the victim was a student there. The victim later moved on to Capital High School, where Moore had also transferred to teach Visual Communications and Digital Design. According to court documents, Moore and the victim began communicating through Skype and email, sending hundreds of messages back and forth. The victim stated that their relationship became sexual once he reached high school, with their previous relationship in middle school being a “grooming” phase.
Moore allegedly demanded that the victim call him his boyfriend and tell him that he loved him. The two spoke every night at 11:30 p.m. until 1 a.m., and the victim had to hide who he was talking to from his parents. The student began to fail classes, and Moore started doing his homework for him. Court documents also indicate that Moore first brought up the topic of sex with the victim while he was still in middle school. The victim stated that the sexual acts began when he was 16 or 17, and none of the interactions were consensual.
According to court documents, Moore threatened to harm himself if the victim wouldn’t leave his friends or have sex with Moore. The student said their physical contact ended in December 2021, but they continued to communicate into the following year.
The high school conducted its own investigation, which included several reports from witnesses stating that Moore had made inappropriate comments to them about relationships and sex. The reports also state that Moore would threaten to fire students from the school’s KOUG TV program if they had any contact with the victim.
Moore was placed on administrative leave in December 2021, after allegations of professional misconduct were raised by students. The district fired him on September 15th for matters unrelated to the charges that led to his arrest.
The victim spoke with an Olympia police detective a few days later and reported the abuse, leading to Moore’s arrest. The trial will be a significant moment for the Olympia School District, which has been rocked by allegations of sexual misconduct involving its staff.