An Aberdeen Physical Education teacher was arrested this week on the investigation of sexual assault of a child. A statement from the Aberdeen School District said that Mr. Ryan Harless, a P.E. teacher at McDermoth Elementary School since 2012, was arrested and transported to Marysville on Wednesday. Harless was booked on one count of Rape of a Child 1st degree for the investigation of a 2017 sexual assault of an 11-year-old relative.
Marysville Investigators, working with the Aberdeen Police, began their investigation into the 35-year-old Aberdeen resident after the victim’s mother in Marysville called police on February 7th to report the assault. The victim, who is a relative of the accused, lives in Florida.
Harless posted $100,000 bail yesterday. His profile page on the school’s website at asd5.org has been removed. But the cached version said, “This will be my fifth year of teaching PE here. In addition to teaching I have been a coach in the Aberdeen school district for several years, coaching football, basketball, baseball, and soccer.”
The district said in their statement that they are cooperating fully with the active police investigation by the Marysville and Aberdeen police departments. Anyone who thinks they may have information that would aid the investigation is asked to contact Detective Jeff Weiss at the Aberdeen Police Department, (360) 533-8765.
School Superintendent Dr. Alicia Henderson said, “This is a legal matter and a personnel matter that limits our ability to share specific information, but I can share with you that Mr. Harless has been a teacher in good standing with the District and has not been the subject of any prior complaints or internal investigations.” She added that the investigation does not involve any students of the Aberdeen School District.
Henderson also asked for support from the community in the interest of safety for the students. She said,” The District will keep itself apprised and will take all necessary steps to ensure the least possible disruption to the learning environment. To that end, we ask our community’s assistance regarding the tenor of social media conversations while the legal process plays out.” She added that anyone with additional concerns may contact her at (360) 538-2002.
Marysville Prosecutors are reviewing additional charges. Detective Craig Bartl with the Marysville Police Department said in a statement to the media, “Our experience in cases of this nature is that there could be additional victims that have not yet come forward.” Bartl asked that any other victims contact their local law enforcement agency and make a report. The case specific to Harless is Marysville Police case number 2019-00007572.