Apr 6, 2015 2:43 PM
Manchester gym teacher accused of posing as school girl online, soliciting photos
MANCHESTER - A gym teacher at Parker Varney Elementary school in Manchester was taken into police custody after being accused of befriending a preteen online and demanding inappropriate pictures from her.
Paul Johnson-Yarosevich, 34, of Acton, Maine, is accused of posing as a young girl on social media.
Police said an investigation started Dec. 6, after the girl's father contacted police.
Manchester police have yet to identify if the two knew each other outside of their online relationship.
Homeland Security, Maine State Police and the State of Maine Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, as well as the Manchester School District helped with the investigation.
The investigation revealed the victim had been communicating with a person who misrepresented their age and gender.
Johnson-Yarosevich has been employed as physical education teacher in Manchester since 2005. He worked at Parker-Varney Elementary School, according to a school website, before being placed on leave Monday.
The Manchester School District released a statement saying they are cooperating fully with police.
"The Manchester School District condemns the behavior alleged in this case and has taken swift and immediate action to ensure the safety and security of our students," the statement read.
Johnson-Yarosevich is charged with prohibited use of computer services "knowingly using the internet to attempt to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a person."
Police said it is too early to confirm if this is an isolated incident and the investigation remains open.
"The bottom line is you want to be aware of what your kids are doing at all times to doing it all times. Keep them involved in sports after school or after school activities because between 2:30 to 6:30 at night that is when kids are most likely to get in trouble on the Internet or elsewhere," said Lt. Brian O'Keefe of Manchester Police.
Johnson-Yarosevich is scheduled to appear in court May 21.