Former Renton teacher charged with rape of child

Arraignment for Jeffrey C. Willis, 43, of Kent, is Nov. 16 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He was charged Oct. 30 and is not in custody.

  • Tuesday, November 3, 2015 8:24pm
  • News

A former Renton School District teacher fired from his job in August has been charged with third-degree rape of a child for allegedly having sex with one of female students nearly 10 years ago.

Arraignment for Jeffrey C. Willis, 43, of Kent, is Nov. 16 at the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. He was charged Oct. 30 and is not in custody.

His firing occurred following an internal investigation by the school district, triggered when the student, now 23 years old, in August revealed to district officials the incident at Dimmitt Middle School when she was 14.

The school district forwarded the information to the Renton Police Department. Detectives investigated and submitted their case to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office.

According to charging documents, Willis had sexual relations with the girl in 2006 at each of their homes, in his car and on a trail behind Maplewood Heights Elementary School, among other places. They kissed at Dimmitt, where the girl was in Willis’ language-arts class.

Willis would occasionally drive her home, which drew the attention of fellow teachers who counseled him not to do so, according or charging documents. He would then pick up the girl a few blocks away from school.

The girl developed a crush on Willis, according to charging documents, and his heart would skip a beat when they passed in the hallway.

The girl broke off the relationship in fall 2006 when she was a freshman at Hazen High School. Willis was still at Dimmitt Middle School.

Renton investigators on Sept. 24 interviewed Willis, who was accompanied by his attorney. He acknowledged developing a sexual relationship with the girl, which he knew was wrong, according to charging documents.

District spokesman Randy Matheson indicated last week the district believes this was a one-time incident and not a pattern. “We have no reason to believe there were other students involved,” he said.

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