A seventh-grade teacher at the private Community School in Sun Valley has been fired and charged with felony sexual abuse of a child under 16 after he allegedly sent nude photos to a minor student on a mobile dating app called Grindr.
Kevin Carter Donaldson, 23, of Sun Valley, was arraigned Wednesday, Sept. 30, in Blaine County 5th District Magistrate Court and released on $75,000 bail. The felony charge carries a penalty of up to 25 years in prison.
According to a report by Sun Valley Police Sgt. Kim Orchard, Donaldson sent three nude photos to the Blaine County minor and Community School student on Sept. 19, asking if he would like to engage in sex. The minor answered that he would like to engage in sex with Donaldson, Orchard’s report stated. Donaldson then asked if he was a student at the Community School, the report states. The minor replied that he was not a student at the Community School, and Donaldson then said he was interested in meeting.
Orchard wrote that the minor later reported to police that he had had a “sexual encounter with an adult male.” Shortly after the minor’s statements, his mother viewed the messages and photos sent by Donaldson on the Grindr app, identifying Donaldson as a seventh-grade teacher at the Community School, Orchard’s report states.
According to the report, Donaldson was fired Tuesday afternoon, escorted from Community School property and interviewed and arrested at the Sun Valley Police Department a short time later. Orchard wrote that Donaldson’s laptop and cellphone were seized as evidence and said the minor’s cell phone and laptop were taken by police as well.
David Holmes, the Community School’s executive director of strategic initiatives, said in an interview that Donaldson was employed by the Community School as a seventh-grade teacher beginning Aug. 19.
According to information that the Community School posted on its website after Donaldson was hired, he joined the school as a math and science teacher. Donaldson previously taught science to seventh- through 12th-grade students at Lakewood, Colo., the posting stated. The website stated that Donaldson has a wealth of outdoor experience and was helping to lead trips for the seventh-graders.
In a letter to Community School parents, Head of School Ben Pettit said school staff members were not aware of any physical misconduct by Donaldson, who has been barred from campus and isn’t allowed contact with any member of the school community. Donaldson was new to Sun Valley, Pettit wrote, and was hired after a background check through the Idaho State Department of Education Teacher Certification System, which includes an FBI fingerprint check.
Pettit also wrote that Sun Valley police will have an increased presence at the school in the coming weeks, with off-duty officers to serve as additional security during school hours.
Donaldson is due in district court again on Nov. 9 for a preliminary hearing, at which time the prosecutor must show there is probable cause that Donaldson committed the crime with which he is charged. Donaldson has not yet entered a plea.