MONROE — The Monroe High School psychologist has been arrested for investigation of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.
Lance Egli, 49, first started talking to a user on a dating application whose name he believed to be Ellie in June, according to a police report. Her profile listed her age as 19, but she repeatedly said she was 14.
But the account wasn’t controlled by a 14-year-old girl. It was a Redmond police detective. The profile picture on the social media accounts used were age-adjusted photos of the officer to make her look like a teenage girl.
On top of being a psychologist at the high school since 2004, Egli is also the special education coordinator there. He is accused of frequently saying he wanted to engage in sexual acts with two fictitious girls.
“This is extremely concerning due to Egli’s employment,” police wrote in their report.
He was arrested Friday and booked into the King County Jail.
The Monroe School District placed Egli on administrative leave while he faces the allegations, spokesperson Tamara Krache wrote in an email Monday. During that time, he is not allowed to go on school property, participate in district events or have contact with students.
The district is running its own internal investigation, Krache added.
“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.
A person using the name “Ray” started texting Ellie several months ago. The profile photo appeared to be a selfie of a middle-aged man. Location: Monroe. Age: 49.
Soon after, their conversation reportedly moved from the dating app MeetMe to Kik, an instant-messaging platform. They communicated for a while, but the detective said there was a break as she worked on other cases.
Egli messaged her again a few months later. She again reminded him she was only 14, according to court papers.
The detective wrote in the report it “became apparent Ray was interested in a romantic and sexual relationship with Ellie.”
On Sept. 9, “Ellie” asked if she was too young for him. He responded “we can deal with your age.” Several times, he asked to meet her and said they should date. Egli said he could pick her up after school, according to court documents.
Egli also allegedly said he hoped “we are still together when you’re 18 and we can just be together.”
She asked a few days later if his kids would like her. Egli said she would one day be their stepmom. Kik records show he sent her just under 400 messages in total, according to police.
Another officer made a decoy account on another dating app in August. Egli messaged her Sept. 14. Egli asked this user, posing as a 15-year-old with the alias Ella, if she liked older men. Police say he also noted he liked younger women.
Police allege Egli said he wanted to meet the second user, adding he wanted them to “be lovers.” He confirmed he was OK with her being 15.
She later asked if her being 15 excited him. He said “definitely … regardless of age.”
Egli sent “Ella” a selfie Sept. 16. Police say it shows a man wearing a surgical mask inside a vehicle. Detectives reached out to the resource officer at Monroe High School to ask if it looked like the psychologist. The officer confirmed the photo was of Egli’s face.
Redmond police traced the device Egli used to send the messages to a home near Snohomish. It’s the address listed on his license, according to police.
He was arrested just before 9 a.m. Friday for investigation of four counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes. Egli was one of three men Redmond detectives arrested who were allegedly trying to find girls.
“Children are at risk of being the victim of online child predators anytime they use social networking apps,” Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said in a statement Monday. “I’m proud of our officers and detectives for their dedication to keeping our children safe. With the increasing number of social networking apps, it is more important than ever for parents of teens to be vigilant about their child’s online activity and to have open conversations about appropriate behaviors.”
Egli was released from the King County Jail on Monday afternoon, according to jail records.
Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.