Redmond High School counselor charged with inappropriate student relationship

May 31, 2024, 7:09 PM

Image: The sign for the Redmond High School can be seen on the school's grounds....

The sign for the Redmond High School can be seen on the school's grounds. (Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

(Photo: James Lynch, KIRO Newsradio)

A Redmond High School counselor was arrested this week for allegedly having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female student.

The counselor, 35-year-old Derik Detweiler, was placed on administrative leave last week, after a female student, 17, revealed the relationship to school officials.

The Redmond Police Department (RPD) and the Lake Washington School District officials both released statements Friday.

“We immediately notified the (RPD) so they could begin an investigation and have cooperated with RPD as they have investigated,” Shannon Parthemer of the Lake Washington School District said in a written statement.

RPD investigators learned that the relationship had been ongoing for months. Detweiler followed the teen on social media, and eventually started texting her and meeting her away from school, sometimes at his Kenmore home, according to court documents. He allegedly provided the teenager with wine while they were at his home.

“An immediate and thorough investigation developed sufficient evidence to secure a warrant for his arrest. Redmond detectives tracked Detweiler to Wyoming, and on May 30, local authorities took him into custody without incident,” Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe said. “He will remain in custody in Wyoming pending extradition back to Washington.”

Detweiler has been charged with communications with a minor for immoral purposes, sexual misconduct with a minor, and furnishing liquor to a minor. Bail is set at $500,000.

‘We are not impervious to this kind of risk’

“We are thankful to the student for having the courage to come forward, as this relationship likely would have continued,” Lowe said. “We encourage parents to have conversations with their children that if they hear or see something concerning, they should tell a trusted adult immediately. We also remind parents to monitor their children’s social media activity and report anything suspicious.”

A pair of parents in Redmond spoke to KIRO Newsradio and noted that it doesn’t matter where a family lives, this kind of crime can happen anywhere.

“We live in a place that’s pretty safe and secure. It’s like Mayberry, or a bubble in some ways.  This just goes to show that even in a place like this we are not impervious to this kind of risk. It’s unfortunate. It’s terrible,” Redmond parent Greg Gilman said.

Greg’s wife, Tracey Gilman, believes the teenager was right to come forward and disclose what had happened.

“These people look for kids to take advantage of, so we just have to be careful as citizens, and this girl did the right thing,” Tracey Gilman said.

Additional resources can be found at the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center. Interested parties can also call at 888-998-6423. Those affected can also visit the Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress or reach out by phone by calling 206-744-1600.

You can read more of James Lynch’s stories here. Follow James on X, or email him here.

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Redmond High School counselor charged with inappropriate student relationship