MISSOULA — Scott Hamilton, a teacher at Hellgate Elementary School, was arrested on Friday morning in Missoula.
Hamilton, 25 years old, was taken into custody on charges of attempted sexual abuse of children and sexual abuse of children (possession of material).
The Missoula Police Department received information regarding the alleged offenses and immediately opened an investigation, according to MPD spokeswoman Lydia Arnold.
A search warrant was conducted at Hamilton’s home on Thursday and charges were subsequently filed with the Missoula County Attorney’s Office, according to a news release.
An arrest warrant was issued on Friday and Hamilton was taken into custody without incident.
“The Missoula Police Department continues to follow-up on all allegations of Internet Crimes Against Children and appreciates reporting by the public that helps facilitate thorough investigations,” Arnold said in a statement.
The investigation is being led by Detective J. Harris who is part of the Montana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC.)
Hellgate Elementary School superintendent Doug Reisig said in a news release:
We learned about the allegations this morning. They're very troubling charges to be leveled against any professional educator, and for the children that may or may not [be] involved in this it's a very, very difficult and disturbing situation.
As of right now, we have no knowledge that any of this misconduct occurred at school. We have no knowledge of any of it (being) involved any of our students at school. And that none of it impacted students in his official capacity as a teacher at Hellgate Elementary, and of course we're working in partnership with the Missoula Police Department and they'll keep us apprised if things change, but that's the information that we have at this point.
Mr. Hamilton will not be permitted to be present on Hellgate Elementary School District property and will not be serving any Hellgate Elementary students.
A recorded message is being sent out to parents, and Reisig noted that Hamilton is no longer allowed on school property.
No other details have been released at this point. We will update you if we get more information.