A middle school teacher from Olympia was arrested Sunday and faces several charges connected to trying to have sex with a minor.
Justin Daniel Hinchcliffe, 44, was charged with one count of second-degree attempted rape of a child, one count of communication with a minor for immoral purposes, and one count of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor after he tried to meet up and have sex with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
According to court documents, on Nov. 10, law enforcement officials placed an online advertisement as an undercover 19-year-old female looking for sex.
When law enforcement answered responses to the ad, they made it clear that they were actually a 13-year-old girl.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, law enforcement received a message inquiring about the costs of sex acts from someone later identified to be Hinchcliffe. During the conversations, it was made clear to Hinchcliffe that he was communicating with a 13-year-old child with the intent to have sex.
A price, meeting time and location were agreed to, and when Hinchliffe arrived at the location, he was taken into custody. Condoms were seen inside of his vehicle, according to court documents.
According to documents, after being read his Miranda rights, Hinchcliffe said that he was a high school teacher in the past and currently teaches middle school.
Hinchcliffe also said he did not intend to have sex with the 13-year-old girl, but instead was “just trying to save her, but did not call the police to tell them,” according to court documents.
Hinchcliffe is a teacher at Salish Middle School in the North Thurston Public Schools district.
In part, the district released this statement on Hinchcliffe’s arrest:
“To the best of our knowledge, the arrest was not related to any event or incident on school grounds, nor did it involve any NTPS students. Due to the nature of the allegations, Mr. Hinchcliffe has been placed on administrative leave and will not be at school pending the conclusion of the criminal investigation and any subsequent district investigation. We recognize the importance of due process and a thorough investigation for those accused of wrongdoing. We are closely monitoring the legal proceedings regarding this matter, and we recognize that the criminal investigation will take time.”