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St. James teacher put on leave in Shawnee sex investigation

  • The Kansas City Star
  • Published Monday, April 22, 2013, at 11:50 a.m.
  • Updated Monday, April 22, 2013, at 11:22 p.m.

Catholic school administrators placed science teacher Jeremy J. Way, 42, on administrative leave as soon as they learned Shawnee police were investigating him for an alleged sex crime, officials said Monday.

Way, who teaches at St. James Academy in Lenexa and coaches the school’s Science Olympiad team, was charged Friday with criminal sodomy and electronic solicitation of a child older than 14 but younger than 16, court records show. The incident involving a 14-year-old boy allegedly happened between Oct. 1 and Feb. 18, according to the Johnson County criminal complaint.

Way, who lives in Shawnee, posted a $100,000 bond and was released from custody pending his first court appearance on April 30. He declined to comment when reached by phone Sunday .

Shawnee police notified school officials of the investigation Thursday, according to a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. School officials were told that the incident did not involve a student, the spokeswoman said.

Way has taught at St. James since 2008, according to a post on his Facebook page. In 2010, he was recognized with an Educating Excellence Award and received a $1,500 prize from Perceptive Software and the University of Kansas School of Engineering.

Way previously taught at Mill Valley High School, where he also served as a Science Olympiad coach.

Each charge against Way carries a minimum prison sentence of about five years.

To reach Tony Rizzo, call 816-234-4435 or send email to trizzo@kcstar.com.

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