Belton substitute teacher Jason L. Carey, the subject of a police investigation opened this week after he allegedly sent nude photos of himself to 8th graders, is also accused of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl in early August, according to charging documents filed Wednesday in Cass County Circuit Court.
The 8-year-old, named in court papers as Confidential Victim #3, reported to authorities that she knew Carey as an employee “at her old school” when she visited the Belton home where Carey rented a room.
She had gone there to meet her 10-year-old friend for a sleepover, she told investigators. During the visit, Carey allegedly molested her and then forced her to watch pornographic videos, including one that featured a girl “probably her age,” according to court papers.
Carey, 42, of Belton, was charged Wednesday with one felony count of second-degree child molestation plus two misdemeanors alleging he knowingly showed pornography to a minor. He faces one other felony charge, attempted enticement of a child, for allegedly sending messages to a girl he met while substitute teaching for Belton Middle School.
Carey obtained a license to work as a substitute teacher Sept. 7, less than two weeks before the allegations surfaced, Missouri Department of Education records show.
In a letter to families provided to The Star, Belton Superintendent Andrew Underwood vaguely mentioned a report of a substitute having “inappropriate communications with some students.” He said the same person previously worked in Belton’s School-Age Childcare, an after-school program offered for children kindergarten through 6th grade.
The district also sent out a message to parents of students who may have had contact with the substitute, identifying that he “may have worked where your child attended SAC last school year or over the summer.”
Underwood said that the substitute teacher was hired by an outside vendor and had passed state background checks.
“As soon as it was reported to us, we contacted the police department, made the appropriate call to the children’s division, and the third-party substitute company took appropriate action,” Underwood said, adding: “Please know that the individual is no longer on school property and will have no further access to students or staff.”
According to court papers, Belton police opened their investigation on Sept. 19 after Principal Jennifer Paschall contacted the school resource officer regarding an 8th grade girl who was receiving sexually explicit pictures from Carey.
The girl, named Confidential Victim #1 in court records, told the school resource officer that she met Carey during school hours and approached him to ask how his day was going.
“Better since I’ve seen you now,” Carey allegedly replied.
From there, the girl said they exchanged Snapchat information. She said she began receiving messages from him later that day.
At first, the messages were innocuous, according to the girl’s account. But later they began to get “weird,” she said, including inappropriate comments about her body.
She said Carey later told her of a dream he had, where she was swimming in a pool. Carey described a fantasy where he would “f----” her, she told police.
Another girl, named as Confidential Victim #2, reported that she added Carey as a Snapchat friend on Sept. 16. He began sending her messages that evening, she said, including asking “if she was alone and if her parents ever let her leave the house.”
“She stated she only sent one picture to the defendant and that was of her and her boyfriend,” a detective wrote in charging papers.
Investigators also learned that a group of girls from Belton Middle School, gathering for a sleepover on Sept. 16, communicated with a Snapchat user by the handles “thundergod714” and “thunder_god7.” Authorities allege those social media accounts are connected to Carey.
Screenshots of text messages were saved by the girls. Authorities included five examples of explicit correspondence, one of which expressed a desire to “come play” in a sexual context.
Four video messages were also shared with police. All contained footage of a man masturbating, including one that “clearly shows” Carey’s face and a tattoo covering his shoulder and bicep area, authorities allege.
As police were investigating the sexually-charged social media messages, they were contacted by the mother of the 8-year-old girl who said Carey had forced her daughter to watch porn.
The child was interviewed by forensic investigators at the Child Protection Center. During her visit to Carey’s home, she recalled, she and her friend went for a swim at the pool. Carey picked them up and threw them in the water several times, she said.
“During one of the times, she described the defendant grabbed and started rubbing her private part,” the detective wrote in charging documents.
She added that they later went to Carey’s bedroom, sat on his bed and watched videos. Carey “told her not to tell anybody” what she saw, the girl told investigators.
The 8-year-old girl described seeing a series of pornographic videos, including at least one she could tell was filmed by Carey because she recognized “a bump on his leg.” He also allegedly “pointed out that it was him” in all of the videos.
On Tuesday, just after midnight, Carey was detained in Bates County and later transferred to the custody of Belton police. He was interviewed by detectives that afternoon.
During the police interview, Carey allegedly said he was a frequent user of Snapchat and that he had added one student as a friend. He was unable to offer a clear explanation of how the girls could have received pornographic images on their phones, authorities allege.
Concerning the 8-year-old, Carey acknowledged being familiar with her and tossing her in the pool when she stayed the night at his residence. But he denied molesting her and said he never showed her pornographic videos.
As of Friday, Carey remained in the Cass County jail. He was being held without bond.
Court records did not list a defense attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Meanwhile, Belton police said Thursday that the investigation of Carey was ongoing, and that he may face additional criminal charges.
Belton school district officials said in a statement that, “Keeping our students safe is our first priority. We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement in their investigation.”