N.Va. Teacher Accused of Using Computer to Seek Sex With Teen
Friday, January 11, 2008
A Fairfax County high school teacher and coach has been charged with using his computer to solicit sex with a minor, and police are investigating whether he has had inappropriate contact with other children, authorities said yesterday.
Matthew E. McGuire, 29, taught Spanish and coached boys' and girls' track teams at Chantilly High School, schools spokesman Paul Regnier said. McGuire was placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
"When anything like this happens, it's obviously very distressing," Regnier said. "We take very seriously the welfare of all the students in our schools."
Regnier said that McGuire is innocent until proven guilty but that "even an accusation like this concerns us greatly."
Arlington County police said they arrested McGuire on Wednesday at his Alexandria home after investigating his online activities for several months. According to Alexandria court records, a detective posing as a 13-year-old girl named Jessica had several conversations with McGuire between March and December 2007.
At one point, the court documents say, a photo of the teenager was requested, and after the detective sent one, he received, in return, a photo of a man exposing himself.
McGuire was charged with attempted indecent liberties with a minor and use of a computer to solicit sex with a minor. He was being held without bond at the Arlington jail. Arlington police spokesman John Lisle said detectives are trying to determine whether there were other incidents involving McGuire and minors. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Detective Greg Sloan at 703-228-4198.
"Obviously, when you have a person like this who is in regular contact with children, this is a question that is raised," Lisle said.
McGuire began working part time for the district in 1999 and was given a full-time position in 2000, Regnier said. McGuire underwent a full background check at the time, he said.
Lisle said the detective who made the arrest is assigned to the regional Internet Crimes Against Children task force, which has been very successful in catching online predators.
"Unfortunately, you lock up one person, and there are many more who are out there," Lisle said. "But I think we are making strides in trying to catch them and trying to protect children."
Fairfax police announced yesterday the arrest of a Virginia man charged with using a computer to solicit sex from someone he thought was a 14-year-old county girl but who was a police officer posing as a teenager on the Internet.
Hazem Sahli, 42, of Midlothian made sexual comments and arranged a meeting in Fairfax, where he was arrested, authorities said.