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San Jose teacher accused in online sex sting

Thursday, August 14, 2008
James Barany

A teacher is accused of going online to set up an encounter with a 13-year-old girl.

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Detectives are tracking the cyber trails of a high school band director. To see if he's contacted any other children online - after they arrested him for trying to set up a sexual encounter with a minor.

Santa Cruz police say it's too early in the investigation to tell whether he had contact with any other children online, but that is going to be the main focus of their investigation. Police caught him when he was just about to meet with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl that he was chatting with online. He was planning on committing lewd acts with a teenager.

"It's disturbing to think anybody of his age and position of authority would say the things he said to a 13-year-old girl," said Zach Friend, Santa Cruz police.

The 13-year-old girl was actually a Santa Cruz police detective who was performing an online sex sting. Barany was a music teacher at William C. Overfelt High School in San Jose. He resigned Wednesday after bailing out of jail. Students on campus were stunned.

"I think he messed up his life. He is old and the girl is young," said a student.

Santa Cruz police say they searched Barany's home and his car and seized some evidence but would not say what they found. They say his arrest should be a reminder to all parents about the dangers of the internet.

"He was well across the line in all the things he was intending to do and it is just a reminder to all of us to take care of our kids," said Zach Friend.

The school district's superintendent said Barany has been with the district for three years and they have never heard complaints about him. Before being the band director, he was the band director at Evergreen Valley High School also in San Jose.

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