University Place teaching assistant faces more charges of child sex abuse

May 26, 2023, 12:42 PM

University Place School District sexual abuse...

University Place School District. (KIRO 7)

(KIRO 7)

New sex abuse charges have been levied in Grays Harbor County against a former University Place youth baseball coach and martial arts instructor already charged with child rape in Pierce County.

Prosecutors said 59-year-old Michael Basse would drive the young boys from the University Place area to a house in Pacific Beach where he would molest and sexually assault them.

University Place School District settles sexual abuse case for $9.5M

According to court documents, when police arrested Basse, they found multiple guns and hundreds of pills, which prosecutors said may have been used to drug children.

Prosecutors also said Basse’s actions were uncovered because he was, at the time of his arrest, actively communicating with a minor for immoral purposes.

Basse was arrested April 21 and was charged with eight counts of child rape and five counts of child molestation.

Court documents said a victim first came forward to the University Place Police Department in October 2022. The victim said his first sexual encounter with Basse was in a parking lot outside the University of Puget Sound when he was 15 years old. Basse offered and then performed oral sex on the victim.

Charging documents indicated the alleged abuse involved multiple victims — young boys, ranging from the age of 9 to 17, at the time of the incidents. Some reported being assaulted by Basse at Tenchikan Dojo in Tacoma. Others said they were in contact with Basse when he worked as a baseball coach of a boys team in University Place.

According to prosecutors, the abuse outlined in the charges occurred between 2007-2016. That is the same period when Basse was an employee of the University Place School District. The district clarified that Basse was never a teacher or coach at any of their schools, instead working as a part-time classroom assistant and health paraeducator. He was terminated in July of 2016 after he was found to be making inappropriate comments and sending inappropriate messages to kids, according to district officials.

“Neither our investigation nor the investigation conducted by police involved any reports of inappropriate touching or physical sexual abuse,” the district said in a statement.

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Officials also said there was no indication that the crimes for which he is charged are related to his work in the district and that the incidents took place at other locations.

So far, nine victims have come forward in Pierce County, but investigators acknowledge there could be more.

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University Place teaching assistant faces more charges of child sex abuse