MONROE — King County prosecutors charged a Monroe High School psychologist Tuesday with sending sexual texts to accounts posing as minors.
Lance Egli, 49, had been arrested Friday at the school. He was charged with four counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
According to new court records, in a police interview he acknowledged messaging two dating app users who identified themselves as 14- and 15-year-old girls. The accounts, however, were controlled by Redmond police.
Egli called one of them the “blonde” girl, according to court papers. He told police he believed the minor was a “scammer.” He said he was trying to figure out who the person was so he could “turn them in.” The girls, under the aliases Ellie and Ella, never asked him for money or services, police noted.
Police asked if it was normal for him to provide personal information to someone he believed was a scammer. Egli had texted about his job, his hobbies and his children. He reportedly did not have a logical response to this line of questioning, according to police.
Egli spent months messaging with the girls, saying often that he wanted to have sex with them. When one detective posing as Ellie asked if she was too young for him, he responded, “we can deal with your age.” He told the other officer, acting as Ella, he wanted them to “be lovers.” He was repeatedly reminded of the girls’ ages.
Police also asked if he communicated with more than one girl. Egli originally said no, according to court documents. But he reportedly changed his tune when police told him they thought he wasn’t telling the truth. He said he thought the second account was the same scammer.
Egli initiated contact with both fictitious girls, according to the charges.
Besides being a psychologist, Egli was also the special education coordinator at the high school. The Monroe School District placed him on administrative leave Friday, spokesperson Tamara Krache wrote in an email. He is not allowed to go on school property, participate in district events or have contact with students.
“As always, Monroe School District continues to remain first and foremost focused on providing its students with a safe learning environment where they may experience the greatest degree of success,” she wrote.
The district is conducting its own internal investigation, Krache added.
Egli “holds a position of trust and authority … at a high school for minors of the same age group as the fictitious children in this case,” King County deputy prosecutor Laura Harmon wrote in Tuesday’s charges.
Egli is scheduled to be arraigned Oct. 25.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; email@example.com. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.