Kentlake High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kentlake High School. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Former Kentlake High teacher pleads not guilty to sex crime

Charged with communication with a minor for immoral purposes after reported incidents with student

A former Kentlake High School teacher pleaded not guilty to a charge of communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Jesse Webb, 44, entered the plea May 18 in King County Superior Court. He is scheduled to return for a pretrial hearing July 11, according to the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. A trial date of Aug. 8 was set, but that could change with continuations, which happens in most cases.

Among other incidents, Webb is accused of allegedly telling a 15-year-old student at Kentlake “that he loved her and wanted to have sex with her,” according to court documents.

King County prosecutors charged Webb on April 27 for incidents that reportedly occurred between Oct. 1, 2022 and Dec. 15, 2022. King County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Webb Dec. 16, 2022 at his Kent home. He was booked into the King County jail and released the next day on $50,000 bail after his first court appearance.

The Kent Reporter first reported the incident Dec. 9, 2022 after the Kentlake principal sent an email to parents about a staff member placed on administrative leave after allegations of inappropriate behavior.

According to the April 26 personnel report from the Kent School District, Webb resigned from the district but is receiving pay through Aug. 18, 2023. The district removed his name from the online Kentlake High staff directory after his arrest.

According to charging papers, detectives were told that Webb might be acting inappropriately with a student.

Detectives learned that the student reportedly would meet with Webb in his classroom after school when she waited for her ride home. They also started to communicate through Instagram. He would tell her she looked “hot” when she dressed a certain way and started calling her “babe” and “cupcake,” according to court documents.

He reportedly took the girl on a drive one day and pulled out $700 in cash and told her he wanted to take her to the makeup store.

Detectives reportedly found Instagram conversations between Webb and the student on her phone. Detectives also executed a search warrant on Webb’s residence and seized his iPhone.

When detectives arrested Webb, he declined to provide a statement.

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