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Former WF teacher charged with luring a minor by computer

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Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 2:13 PM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - After a nearly month-long investigation, a West Fargo teacher has been charged for luring a minor for sex online.

Ron Thompson resigned from West Fargo Public Schools on February 2, after West Fargo Police served a search warrant on his home and at work. Investigators have been tight-lipped on the case until now.

Court documents filed today state West Fargo detectives received a tip from a Florida detective regarding Thompson on Jan. 28. The detective told WFPD he was posing as a 14-year-old girl chatting on a website called ‘E-chat.’

When Thompson contacted the teen, documents state Thompson was told the girl’s age, but Thompson still turned the conversation into a sexual one. Documents say Thompson asked the girl what she fantasized about and asked if she had ever had sex.

Shortly into the conversation between Thompson and the undercover officer, documents say Thompson asked for the girl’s e-mail address, and moved their conversation to ‘Google Hangouts.’ Documents say once on the new online platform, the conversation became even more sexually explicit.

Court documents say Thompson talked about having oral sex with the girl, as well as described in detail how he would have sex with the teen. Thompson also sent a photo of himself to the girl.

Thompson later told the undercover investigator that he was a teacher at a high school, which prompted the officer to then forward the evidence to North Dakota investigators.

In a news conference Wednesday, West Fargo Police Chief Denis Otterness says the reason the details of this case took so long to release was due to the amount of electronic devices seized in their searches, which he says takes awhile to go through. Otterness says there is still evidence left to look at, which means Thompson could face more charges depending on what’s discovered.

“Maybe this a really good time to sit down and talk to your kids about the dangers of the internet. Maybe look into some parental controls that you can access for your kids because the internet can be a very dangerous place for our young people,” Otterness said.

Thompson is not the first West Fargo educator to be accused of sexual misconduct with a minor, and when asked if the district has a ‘culture problem,’ WFPS Superintendent Beth Slette says there are protocols in place to make sure people like this are weeded out in the hiring process.

“And I do believe that the school itself is a reflection of the community and I think the dangers are in our community and the school is not exempt from that,” Slette said.

Documents say Thompson admitted to chatting online with multiple females under the age of 18. However, Thompson denied ever having any physical contact with anyone he has ever chatted with online, and also denied having any inappropriate contact or chats with anyone locally.

Thompson began substitute teaching for Fargo Public Schools in Jan. 2011. Thompson was then hired by West Fargo Schools in Dec. 2011, where he remained as a a business education teacher for both WFHS and SHS until Feb. 2. Thompson’s personnel file obtained by Valley News Live earlier this month showed there was never any disciplinary action taken against Mr. Thompson.

As of 3 p.m. on Feb. 24, Thompson is not yet booked in jail. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison.

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