Pasco teacher under arrest for allegedly sexually exploiting a minor

KENNEWICK, Wash. — A teacher who works full-time at Chiawana High School in Pasco has been placed under arrest for allegedly prompting a student to pose sexually in photos taken at his home.

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that 43-year-old Jeffrey Whiston is accused of inviting a 16-year-old student over to his Benton County home for a photoshoot on April 6, 2022. During the shoot, he allegedly asked the young girl to pose in ways that were “sexually suggestive and revealing.”

Confirmed by the Pasco School District and the Benton County Jail Roster, Whiston was arrested by deputies from the Benton County Sheriff’s Office on the evening of Tuesday, April 12.

Pasco school officials received a report from a concerned parent that morning and shortly after, Whiston was placed on administrative leave. Following the district’s standard protocol, a report was made to local law enforcement. Detectives met with school officials and developed probable cause to bring the Pasco schoolteacher into custody.

“If true, these allegations represent a breach of our trust and a disappointing departure from our standards for all district employees,” Pasco School District’s statement read. “The safety of our students is the highest priority of our school and district staff members.

Because this is an open investigation, this is the only information Pasco School District will be providing at this time.”

The Benton County Sheriff’s Office investigation is ongoing with more details to be revealed at a later date. Currently, Whiston faces a pending felony charge for the sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to his Facebook profile, Whiston is also a pastor at the Trinity Baptist Church in Burbank.

This is a breaking news story. An update and/or follow-up will be issued once further details are publically revealed.

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