Wenatchee elementary school teacher accused of molesting student

Wenatchee elementary school teacher accused of molesting student

Warning: This story contains disturbing details.

WENATCHEE, Wash. — A Wenatchee elementary school teacher was arrested Wednesday on charges of molesting at least one student several years ago.

Court documents say Joe Ells, 58, was teaching the second grade at Columbia Elementary when the crimes are said to have occurred about 14 years ago. He is currently listed as a first grade teacher at the school.

A friend of the alleged victim called the school in June of this year to report Ells had sexually assaulted a former student years ago, when she was 7 to 8 years old.

Wenatchee police said they got in touch with the former student, who said Ells would keep her after school multiple times a week and kiss her on the lips for minutes on end. She said he would use his tongue.

The former student said one time, she and her best friend were both kept after school and Ells kissed both of them. The former student called Ells in early August, and he recalled kissing both girls one at a time because “they kept bugging him about it,” court documents say.

During an interview with Ells, police said he told them about the incident involving both girls, but denied doing anything with the primary alleged victim other than walking her to class and possibly holding her hand.

Ells was arrested on charges of first-degree child molestation and aggravated first-degree child molestation.