Riverton Middle School Teacher Arrested, Being Investigated For Kidnapping
RIVERTON, Utah — A teacher at South Hills Middle School was arrested after being accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old student.
Riverton Police detectives said they received reports of these interactions over Thanksgiving weekend.
On Friday, Lucas Sloan Talley, 38, was booked into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of two counts of kidnapping.
Police said during Talley’s 12 years of teaching at the school, he had “personal contact via text message and email with multiple young girls,” according to the police booking affidavit. “Much of this contact has been of a personal nature and not school related.”
The teacher reportedly began having an emotional relationship with a 14-year-old student, a female, during the 2019-2020 school year.
“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,” read the affidavit.
During these visits, Lucas allegedly hugged the girl and touched her inappropriately multiple times.
“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,” stated the affidavit.
Police said he also planned two different times to meet with the 14-year-old at South Hills Middle School while it was closed to students because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Due to this, when the female victim arrived at the school, Lucas told the girl to get into a large black and yellow Sterilite bin. Lucas placed the Sterilite bin (with the female victim inside of the bin) on a dolly device and wheeled the girl into his classroom,” according to the affidavit.
The teacher then allegedly shut and locked his classroom door.
“Lucas admitted to detectives he named the bin after the young girl he placed inside. Lucas also had placed a label inside of the bin which stated hope your box is comfortable,” officers wrote in the affidavit.
Detectives said Talley told them the girl’s parents didn’t know he had put her in a bin, wheeled her into his classroom, and locked the door.
“Lucas told detectives he does not feel a girl at the age of fourteen is able to consent or even choose to be put into a bin and wheeled into his classroom,” officers wrote in the affidavit.
In June 2020, the girl’s mother asked Talley to stop communicating with her daughter, but he continued to send text messages, video messages, and emails.
Talley said he “thought of being with this female victim as a couple, but knew he would have to wait six to seven years before he could get to this point,” read the affidavit.
Officials found multiple messages — including emails, text messages and video messages — which showed Lucas telling the girl that he loved her, missed her, and wanted to talk to her and see her every day.
Police said the teacher has attempted contact with multiple students, past and present, in the hopes that they will help him through his anxiety attacks.
“Lucas told detectives he has realized he needs the validation from these female students for his ego and thrives on it,” stated the affidavit. “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.”
Jordan School District spokesperson Sandy Riesgraf said Talley is “no longer employed with Jordan School District.” She declined to comment further, citing the ongoing police investigation.
Riverton police said the teacher resigned from South Hills Middle School about a week before the arrest.
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