The father-of-four was having personal contact with “multiple young girls” at the school, according to police.
A Utah teacher has been arrested for smuggling a 14-year-old student into his shuttered school, police say.
Lucas Sloan Talley, a 38-year-old father-of-four, was having personal contact with “multiple young girls” at South Hills Middle School — one of whom he allegedly snuck into his locked classroom inside a plastic storage bin, Deseret News reported.
According to his police booking affidavit, Talley texted and emailed several students during his 12 years teaching there — much of it “of a personal nature and not school related” — but things stepped up when the pandemic shuttered the school.
“Lucas told detectives he has realized he needs the validation from these female students for his ego and thrives on it,” the affidavit states. “Lucas said when the school shut down due to the pandemic, he really struggled with not having this validation, so began talking with this female victim daily Monday through Friday.”
Lucas “knew he was overstepping his teacher role but his interactions with the female victim were a type of therapy for him,” it states.
When Covid closed the school down, Lucas started an “emotional relationship” with one of his 14-year-old students in particular, Riverton police claimed.
“Lucas began talking to the young female about his marriage, as well as his anxiety and depression. Lucas began taking treats to the young female’s home and spending time (hours) inside the girl’s home with her,” the affidavit states
He allegedly hugged the girl and touched her inappropriately multiple times, police said, placing his hand in her inner thigh and rubbing her leg.
“The female victim was scared something sexual was about to happen and felt uncomfortable and did not want to be in this setting with Lucas,” the officers wrote.
Lucas is also accused of arranging two meetings with the girl at the school, despite it being closed to students.
When she arrived, he told her to climb into a large black and yellow Sterilite storage bin, placed it on a dolly and wheeled it inside his classroom, before closing the door and locking it, police said; inside the bin he had taped a note reading: “Hope your box is comfortable.”
In June the girl’s parents, who were unaware of the bin incident, demanded he stop texting her. But Lucas admitted to police he continued to do so — and other girls at the school as well.
They said he admitted reaching out to girls who specifically suffered with anxiety, depression or other issues.
Police claim he also admitted having thoughts of being with the teen as a couple, “but knew he would have to wait six to seven years before he could get to this point.”
According to the affidavit, he admitted he felt “a girl at the age of 14 is able to consent or even choose to be put into a bin and wheeled into his classroom” — hence the kidnapping charge.
Lucas resigned from his post one week before Friday’s arrest; he is being held without bond as he is considered a suicide risk.