Ex-elementary teacher suspect in sex assault cases - Tucson News Now

UPDATE

Ex-elementary teacher suspect in sex assault cases

Ryan Raths was arrested Thursday and was in jail without bond on suspicion of sexual assault. (Source: CBS 5 News) Ryan Raths was arrested Thursday and was in jail without bond on suspicion of sexual assault. (Source: CBS 5 News)
GLENDALE, AZ (CBS5) -

An employee of the Washington Elementary School District in Glendale is in jail on suspicion of sexually assaulting two women he met on the Internet.

Ryan Robert Raths, 40, of Glendale, was arrested Thursday, the day after his birthday, by Glendale police. He remained in jail without bond Tuesday morning on four counts of felony sexual assault, according to the Glendale Police Department.

He is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, police said.

Court documents list Raths as an employee of the Washington district. He was listed on the website of Kachina Elementary School in the Peoria Unified School District as a sixth-grade teacher through March.

Raths is accused of sexually assaulting a woman Sept. 27, 2004, in an apartment where she went to meet him to get a copy of an album by a band with which he played, according to a court document.

Almost three years later, a 29-year-old woman who had moved to the Valley from California told police she met Raths on MySpace.com and agreed to go out with him for drinks on Oct. 16, 2007, according to the document.

She said she then agreed to go with Raths from the bar to his apartment in the early morning hours the next day to watch television, but that Raths sexually assaulted her.

The case went cold because Glendale Police said they could not get ahold of the victim.

"To think about emotionally and psychologically what they go through and sometimes they're just not able to go through it at the time or talk about it at the time," said Glendale Police Officer Tracey Breeden.

Detectives noticed similarities between the 2007 and 2004 case, and were able to make the arrest.

"We're seeing an established pattern here of meeting female victims online on an Internet site, meets them on a location, and then asks them to go back to his residence," Breeden said. "We do believe there could be more victims."

The school district issued this statement Tuesday afternoon:

"The Washington Elementary School District was informed Friday, November 22 that Ryan Raths, a former fourth grade teacher at Roadrunner Elementary School, was arrested Thursday, November 21 for alleged criminal activity not involving minors.

"Mr. Raths has been on administrative leave for three weeks for reasons unrelated to this alleged criminal activity. Mr. Raths has been employed with WESD since August of 2013."

The Glendale Department encourages people with information on unreported crimes or believes Raths' contact with them may have been inappropriate to contact law enforcement.

Anyone with information can call the Glendale Police Department Tipline at 623-930-3399 or Silent Witness at 480-Witness.

No other information was immediately available.

Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News as this story develops.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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