Monday, February 22, 2010

Neighbor: Accused Bible school teacher had teen girls at apartment

Neighbor: Accused Bible school teacher had teen girls at apartment
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Last updated 10:30 p.m. PT


The neighbor of a Bible school teacher accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student says he saw the teacher bring underage girls into his townhouse apartment several times over the past year.

The teacher, Scott A. Spies, 49, was arrested Tuesday and booked into jail for investigation of molestation, indecent liberties and sex with a minor, police said. He was released late Saturday after posting bail, records show.

Spies has been fired by the Auburn Adventist Academy, where he taught Bible study classes, and school officials are helping the 16-year-old victim in any way they can.

Even before the arrest, however, some neighbors said they were puzzled by "weird" things they saw going on at his apartment - especially given his image as a nice, Christian guy.

In an exclusive interview with KOMO News, one of Spies' neighbors said he saw the teacher bring high school-age girls to his apartment several times beginning about a year ago.

The neighbor, who asked not to be identified by name, says it never looked like the girls were in danger - but, he says it raised plenty of red flags.

On one occasion, the neighbor said he saw Spies bring three Asian teenage girls to his apartment.

"It was weird because I knew he was a teacher, it was Saturday night - it was a weekend, and three girls were there - going to his place," the neighbor said.

At other times the neighbor said he witnessed Spies hold parties and "get-togethers" with high school girls inside his townhouse.

The neighbor said there were never any other adults at these gatherings.

He said he and other neighbors were shocked by the news of Spies' arrest, but this turned to concern when he remembered all the times he had seen the teacher bring young girls to his apartment.

Asked if he thought the behavior was inappropriate, the neighbor answered, "Oh yeah, totally."

Sgt. David Colglazier of the Auburn police said Spies allegedly started a relationship with a teenage girl who attended one of his classes in February 2009, when the girl was 15 years old.

The relationship became sexual last fall, after she returned from a visit to Thailand, and the two had intercourse about 15 times - usually at Spies' apartment in Auburn, Colglazier said.

The sexual relationship continued until about two weeks ago, Colglazier said.

A KOMO News reporter tried to contact Spies by going to his house and knocking on his door, but was unsuccessful.

Someone on the other side of the door said, "Don't answer it" - and nobody did.

Neighbors say Spies hasn't come out of his townhouse since he was released from jail, leaving all them wondering.

"What teacher - especially in his right mind - is going to put himself in that kind of situation to where maybe he's falsely accused of something - but why even put yourself in that position?" said his neighbor.

Marvin Mitchell, principal of Auburn Adventist Academy, says he talked with Spies about the alleged relationship - then he fired him.

"We did terminate him and suspend him immediately from campus," Mitchell said. "He was very remorseful. Very remorseful."

According to online records, Spies has a master's degree in theology and began teaching at the Auburn Adventist Academy in 2009. He also is an alumnus of the school, graduating in 1979.

Established in 1919, Auburn Adventist Academy is a private coeducational Christian boarding and day high school operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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