Kamiak High School on Friday, July 8, 2022, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kamiak High School on Friday, July 8, 2022, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Kamiak football coach fired amid sexual misconduct investigation

Police believe Julian Willis, 34, sexually abused the student in portable classrooms on Kamiak High School’s campus.

MUKILTEO — A paraeducator at Kamiak High School has been fired amid a police investigation into sexual misconduct with a student.

Julian Willis, 34, an assistant football coach and emergency substitute teacher at Kamiak and Mariner high schools, was placed on leave April 3 and fired from the district May 22, said Diane Bradford, spokesperson for the Mukilteo School District.

Willis had not been arrested as of this week. Mukilteo police said Thursday it remained an active investigation.

The Daily Herald does not typically name suspects until they have been arrested or charged. However, in this case, Kamiak Principal Stephen Shurtleff sent out statements to families and students asking those with information to contact the school’s anonymous “safety tip reporting tool.”

“This connects to a big lesson we all want all of you to learn: if you see something, say something,” the statement read.

A search warrant filed in Snohomish County Superior Court says Willis preyed on the student from November 2022 to March.

The district hired Willis in September 2022 as an assistant football coach at Kamiak, Bradford said. At the same time, the student began working with the football team. Willis would flirt with her at practice, but she did not think anything of it, the search warrant says. The comments reportedly became more inappropriate over time.

In November 2022, Willis met with the student and sexually abused her in an unoccupied rental property he managed, according to the search warrant.

Two other encounters occurred in portable classrooms on campus when Willis worked as a substitute teacher, the search warrant says. Willis reportedly stopped by her classes and “nudged” her to meet him in a portable. Another time, Willis texted her to meet in another portable after school, according to the police report.

Detectives filed search warrants, in part, to collect evidence from the portables.

Willis would tell the student he wanted to “spoil her” and take her out on a “proper date” somewhere no one would recognize them, the search warrant says. The suspect would also tell her he wished they met in high school.

On March 31, a staff member reported the suspected misconduct to school leadership, Bradford said.

Willis had a popular family TikTok account with his wife, revolving around their real estate business. The account appears to have been deleted.

Police wrote they were investigating Willis for the crime of sexual misconduct with a minor in the first degree. Under the law, a school employee generally cannot have sexual contact with an enrolled student between the ages of 16 and 21.

Detective Eric Ofori was investigating this case. Tips can be directed to Mukilteo police at 425-263-8100. Or call 911.

Resources for victims of sexual assault:

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673.

The Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse operates a 24-hour crisis line: 425-252-4800.

If you are concerned about the safety of a child, you can contact Dawson Place Child Advocacy Center at 425-789-3000, or call state Child Protective Services at the statewide End Harm line (866-363-4276). The Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse also operates a 24-hour crisis line: 425-252-4800.

The Trevor Project Lifeline for LGBTQ Youth: thetrevorproject.org, 866-488-7386.

Mental Health First Aid courses: mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

Compass Health’s Mobile Crisis Outreach Team may be contacted at anytime by calling the Volunteers of America crisis line: 1-800-584-3578.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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