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Monday, March 4, 2024
March 4, 2024

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Seattle teacher accused of sexual relationship with 16-year-old student


SEATTLE — A Seattle high school teacher is accused of repeatedly having sex with a 16-year-old student, who reported their encounters to school officials and police last week, according to prosecutors.

Pawares “Mac” Pathompornvivat, a 32-year-old science teacher at Franklin High School, was arrested at the school Feb. 17 and posted $100,000 bail the next day, charging papers say.

Known to his students as “Mr. Mac,” Pathompornvivat was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree sexual misconduct with a minor, accused of having sex with the girl in his cars and at her Seattle home during the first two weeks of the month.

He was also charged with communicating with a minor for immoral purposes for allegedly sending the girl more than 3,000 text and email messages during that time, most of which were sexually explicit, prosecutors say.

“The defendant abused his position of trust and authority as a Seattle Public School high school teacher by having sexual intercourse on multiple occasions with a student,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Emily Petersen wrote in charging papers.

Additionally, “the defendant told the victim that he had previously had a sexual relationship with another student, and whether there are other victims of the defendant remains under investigation,” Petersen wrote.

In a Sunday email to parents, Franklin High School Principal Joseph Williams III wrote that district employees moved quickly after receiving a report that a staff member had engaged in inappropriate conduct with a student.

Williams’ email doesn’t name the employee, who was put on leave and barred from entering any Seattle Public Schools buildings, attending school events, and contacting students, their families and staff.

The school district has started an internal investigation, Williams wrote, noting that officials “will collaborate with the Seattle Police Department.”

He encouraged any student or staff member who has experienced sexual assault or harassment to report the conduct to any school employee or email the district’s Title IX office at title.ix@seattleschools.org.

Williams called 911 on Feb. 17 and reported a sexual assault involving a student, charging papers say. Seattle police went to the school, where the 16-year-old girl told officers she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Pathompornvivat since Feb. 2, according to the charges.

She allowed officers to review and photograph the text thread between her and Pathompornvivat and said they first exchanged phone numbers in late January after she brought him a birthday present, the charges say.

After the girl reported the relationship to school officials, she texted Pathompornvivat to tell him the school was aware of their sexual encounters; Pathompornvivat called the girl to “get our stories straight,” but she told him she wouldn’t lie about what happened, the charges say.

Following Pathompornvivat’s arrest, police applied for a warrant to search his cellphone, say the charges.