Middle school teacher, 38, charged with kidnapping student, 14

Middle school teacher, 38, is charged with kidnapping ‘after putting student, 14, he’d been grooming in a plastic BIN and smuggling her into his classroom’ after school was closed due to the pandemic

  • Utah teacher Lucas Talley, 38, a married father-of-four, charged with two counts of kidnapping 
  • Talley is accused of smuggling a 14-year-old into his classroom at the closed South Hills Middle School inside a plastic bin
  • Affidavit alleges Talley named the bin after the victim and affixed a note inside that read: ‘hope your box is comfortable’
  • Talley allegedly talked to the teen daily, brought her treats, spent hours at her home, touched her inner thigh and leg 
  • Talley, who has anxiety and depression, told police he had been communicating with multiple young girls as a form of ‘therapy’  

Utah teacher Lucas Talley, 38, a married father-of-four, has been charged with two counts of kidnapping for allegedly smuggling a 14-year-old student into his classroom inside a plastic bin

A middle school teacher from Utah has been arrested on kidnapping charges after police say he sneaked a 14-year-old student he had been grooming for an inappropriate relationship into his classroom in a plastic bin.

Lucas Talley, 38, was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on two counts of kidnapping on Friday.

Prior to his resignation a week ago, Talley, who is married with four children, had taught at South Hills Middle School in Riverton for 12 years.

According to a probable cause affidavit cited by KJZZ, Talley was exchanging text messages and emails with multiple young girls, asking them to talk him through anxiety and panic attacks.

‘Much of this contact has been of a personal nature and not school related,’ according to the affidavit.

During an interview with police, the former teacher was quoted as saying that he ‘thrives’ on validation from girls, and that he was most interested in communicating with girls who had anxiety issues of their own.

The document states that Talley began grooming a 14-year-old student last year. He confided in her about his marriage and his battle with depression, and told her in messages that he loved and missed her.

Talley allegedly brought treats to the teen’s house and spent hours there with her, at which time he allegedly hugged and touched her in an inappropriate manner.

The affidavit alleges that the teacher touched the teenager on her inner thigh and rubbed her leg, and she was uncomfortable and afraid that ‘something sexual was about to happen.’

Until his resignation a week ago, Talley had taught at South Hills Middle School in Riverton, Utah (pictured), for 12 years

Until his resignation a week ago, Talley had taught at South Hills Middle School in Riverton, Utah (pictured), for 12 years

He told detectives he considered having a romantic relationship with the girl, but said he knew he would have to wait six or seven years.

When the middle school closed due to the pandemic, Talley allegedly began talking to the 14-year-old every day from Monday to Friday.

Talley admitted he ‘knew he was overstepping his teacher role but his interactions with the female victim were a type of therapy for him.’

On two separate occasions, the teacher allegedly smuggled the girl into his classroom inside the shuttered school by hiding her inside a large black-and-yellow bin and rolling it into the building on a dolly.

Talley told police he named the container after the child and placed a label inside that read: ‘hope your box is comfortable.’

In the affidavit, Talley was quoted by police as saying that the girl’s parents did not know he had put her in the bin and he ‘does not feel a girl at the age of 14 is able to consent or even choose to be put into a bin and wheeled into his classroom.’

In June, the girl’s mother asked Talley to stop exchanging messages with her daughter, but the teacher allegedly continued bombarding the teen with texts, video messages and emails, reported Deseret News.

By his own admission, other parents also asked Talley to stop communicating with their daughters.  

Police in Riverton are now looking to see if there are additional victims out there.

Talley remained jailed without bond as of Tuesday evening.


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