EVERETT — A middle school teacher and a school bus driver allegedly caught in a child-sex sting operation are due in court this week to answer to felony charges.
The men are accused of arranging to meet a 15-year-old girl for sex after answering an ad posted on Craigslist. They were arrested Sept. 23 and 24 when they arrived at a location arranged by undercover detectives, who were behind the online posts.
Prosecutors have charged the men with communication with a minor for immoral purposes, a felony. Several other men also were arrested during the sting, including two men who exchanged messages with detectives even after the arrests of the teacher and bus driver made national news.
Detectives called the sting Operation Anvil, a joint investigation by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Service. The suspects ranged from 26 to 60 and were from cities around the county.
Ian Moore, 29, showed up to meet the underage girl in the school bus he drove for the Edmonds School District. Prosecutors allege that Moore was communicating with the fictitious teenager all day while he transported special-needs students.
He reportedly asked the girl to send him nude pictures. Moore allegedly wrote that he planned to engage in sex with the girl on the bus. He also told her that he wanted their rendezvous to be kept a secret.
Moore allegedly later admitted to detectives that he’d driven to the Lynnwood-area apartment believing he was going to have sex with an underage girl, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Justin Harleman wrote in court papers.
The next day Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies arrested Bryson Condotta, a history teacher at Alderwood Middle School in the Edmonds School District.
Condotta allegedly told detectives he believed he was meeting a 15-year-old. He said he didn’t intend to have sex with her, but planned to counsel her, according to court papers.
The online communication with detectives told a different story, Harleman wrote. Condotta, 34, allegedly wrote messages, describing the different sex acts he intended to pursue with the minor.
Initially it appeared that Condotta was reluctant to continue speaking to the girl because of her age.
“I really wish I could. You don’t know how bad I want to,” he wrote.
The detective told Condotta to contact her if he changed his mind. The defendant waited 21 minutes before sending another message, Harleman wrote.
“Really want u to be 18 so bad, god I could use you. Imagine if you were in my classroom, yikes,” Condotta allegedly wrote in a message.
“Just sayin what it would be like with u in class, too tempting.”
Condotta resumed communication with detectives the next day. He allegedly sent a picture of himself from his classroom. He asked the girl to switch to a social media site. The messages became “sexually charged,” Harleman wrote.
Both the teacher and the bus driver were placed on paid administrative leave.
Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; firstname.lastname@example.org.