A Natrona County School District faculty member was charged with three counts of sexual abuse of a minor during his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Friday.
Jason Waugaman, 36, was charged with two counts of second- and one count of third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, all of which are felonies and are punishable by decades of imprisonment.
The school district’s website lists him as a tutor at Dean Morgan Elementary School, and is a Kelly Walsh High School debate coach.
The alleged crimes occurred in one incident with a victim between the ages of 13 and 15 in July 2016, according to Judge Steve Brown.
Brown agreed with public defender Marty Scott, who said the charges are serious, but added Waugaman’s bond should be set at $10,000 cash or surety because this was a single incident with one victim, and no other alleged incidents have occurred, he is a lifetime resident of the community, and he has no prior criminal record.
Waugaman was arrested Thursday and taken into custody.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, a young woman filed a complaint about a sex offense to the Casper Police Department on Jan. 13, and a detective interviewed her.
She told the officer that Waugaman had been a substitute teacher for one of her classes for about a month when she was in the seventh grade at a local junior high school in the 2014-2015 school year.
She was on a social media site when Waugaman contacted her, and they began communicating on another social media sited while she was attending a local high school.
He began making sexual comments, discussed specific sexual acts, and exchanged nude photos.
She was 14 at the time and Waugaman was 33 when the alleged incident occurred in July 2016.
She agreed to meet him outside her apartment, sneaked out in the middle of the night, and got into his car.
They drove to a nearby business parking lot, began kissing, moved to the back of the car and had sex. That was the only time they had intercourse.
She decided to walk home even though he offered to drive her.
They continued communicating on a social media site.
The detective asked her if she would be willing to contact Waugaman to continue the investigation. She contacted the detective and showed him texts of the conversation in which he said he enjoyed the experience.
Waugaman said he wanted to meet her again, and sent a photo of himself. The affidavit of probable cause redacted the location where the photo was taken, but described the setting as a room with a red wall and a white border at the top, and there was a white pillow with blue piping.
On Jan. 15, the detective and another detective met the woman at her residence.
She called Waugaman and asked if he really loved her or if was only about sex. He said he did love her. He said something to the effect that he did love her and that if they hadn’t had sex it wouldn’t have changed their relationship.
On Jan. 16, a police officer contacted Waugaman and took him to the police department for an interview. Waugaman asked for Scott or another attorney to be with him.
After Scott arrived, he spoke with Waugaman in private and the detective interviewed him with Scott present.
Waugaman said he taught the then-girl’s class in the 2014-2015 school year, but said his relationship with her was strictly professional. He confirmed that he owned the car that she described, and that she had sent topless photos of herself three times. He maintained that relationship until he started seeing his current girlfriend.
He said he deleted the messages and never told anyone about them.
Waugaman said he had never used social media to contact any other students.
He also said he never met the alleged victim outside the school.
Waugaman said he never had any reason to be associated with a sexual act, and he never engaged in sexting.
He added he had not talked to her for years until a couple of days before the interview.
Waugaman was then placed under arrest and taken to the Natrona County jail.
The detective obtained a search warrant for Waugaman’s residence and found the master bedroom with the wall and pillow matching that in the photo.
He also interviewed Waugaman’s girlfriend he had been dated since April 2016, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit did not state why the woman waited three-and-a-half years to file the report.