Eastside coach, Seattle instructing assistant under investigation for alleged misconduct

SEATTLE – Seattle Police say an instructional assistant raped a student repeatedly inside a bathroom at John Muir Elementary.

The 40-year-old suspect is under arrest but has not yet been criminally charged.

Detectives say they may need to interview other students as their investigation continues.

Q13 News reported last week about allegations against a coach at Kirkland’s Puget Sound Adventist Academy. Police allege he used iPads to secretly record his student athletes while they undressed. The suspect has been charged with voyeurism.

The local accusations came after an Olympics gymnastics coach, Larry Nassar, was sentenced after violating the trust of his athletes and leaving them with painful, emotional scars.

There are local organizations striving to put power back into the hands of parents -- before their become victims in the first place.

“What you shouldn’t do is go, 'Oh no! This is terrible! This is a tragedy, this is awful,'” said Joan Cole Duffell, executive director for Committee for Children. “Even if that’s how you’re feeling inside, if you’re completely devastated, with the child you need to remember the first thing is how your reaction might affect them.”

She says parents have the power to teach their kids to know what is and what isn’t appropriate contact.

“This isn’t a sexuality conversation you’re having with your child, it’s a safety conversation,” she said. “We want to be really careful not to place the burden of preventing child abuse on children themselves.”

Duffell says her organization provides tools that can help teach moms, dads and guardians how to establish safety rules for kids, how to listen and watch for clues of abuse, and what to do if something is wrong.

“When kids get older, they need to understand all kinds of things. What constitutes a healthy or unhealthy relationship,” she said.

Duffell says the old ‘stranger danger’ warning isn’t the only message for young kids anymore, because statistically most young people are being abused at the hands of people they likely already know.