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Former Central Texas principal accused of luring girls online for sex
Round Rock, Texas
   
 
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A former school official who worked in districts across Central Texas has been arrested in Arizona, where he stands accused him of soliciting young girls for sex, the Phoenix-area Pinal County sheriff’s office said.

Karl Waggoner was arrested Tuesday near Four Peaks Elementary School in Arizona, where he had just begun his job as principal this summer, the sheriff’s office said. Waggoner is charged with luring a minor for sex, Arizona records show.

Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Ariz., told the American-Statesman that he is not aware of any ongoing investigations concerning Karl Waggoner, who worked in the Round Rock, Eanes and Austin school districts, but that his agency has been in touch with Round Rock police and the attorney general office’s internet crimes against children task force.

He said investigators contacted Texas authorities both before and after Waggoner’s arrest. 

“We want to make sure they are aware of what’s going on out here,” Lamb said. “We are making them aware of what we have, and we have extended our services to them in case they do have something. We are all about protecting our residents, and especially the children in our community. Anytime we have something like this come up, we want to make sure there are no other victims out there, and not just here in our county, and not just here in our state.”

Waggoner worked in the Austin school district for one year, from August 2013 to August 2014, as the assistant principal at Anderson High School from August 2013 to June 2014, and briefly as the high school’s academy director from July 1, 2014 to August 22, 2014. 

Austin district officials said “there were no disciplinary actions while he was employed” in the district. 

Waggoner left Austin to work in the Round Rock district, serving as a principal from 2014 to 2016 at Hopewell Middle School and Stony Point High School.

In a letter to parents Wednesday morning, Superintendent Steve Flores said he must share “troubling news,” but assured parents at both schools “we have no reason to believe your child has been harmed or put at risk.”

According to the letter, Waggoner left Hopewell in August 2016, before the start of the school year, after requesting a reassignment and being named associate director of administrative projects, a position at central administration. Waggoner left the Round Rock district earlier this year and recently had been hired as principal of Four Peaks Elementary in Arizona. 

“We want to emphasize to our parents, students and staff that we have no indication that Mr. Waggoner engaged in inappropriate conduct with students while employed by Round Rock ISD or in his previous employment,” Flores said. “Mr. Waggoner, who previously worked in Eanes and Austin Independent School Districts, had decades of experience in Texas public schools and no prior arrests or criminal history when hired by Round Rock ISD.”

Flores also told parents that if they have any information that could lead to an investigation related to Waggoner’s time in Round Rock, to contact law enforcement, the district’s director of safety and security, at mario_delarosa@roundrockisd.org or to use the district’s Anonymous Alerts program, roundrockisd.org/anonymousalerts.

The Eanes Independent School District released the following statement about Waggoner: “We are dismayed to hear of former principal Mr. Karl Waggoner's arrest in Arizona today. Mr. Waggoner worked as an assistant principal at Hill Country Middle School, a principal at West Ridge Middle School and an assistant principal at Westlake High School until 2013.”

“At no time during his approximately 18 years in Eanes ISD was there any indication of inappropriate behavior with students. Prior to his hire, he passed all criminal background checks,” the Eanes statement said. “As a cautionary measure, however, we ask any current or former students to contact Eanes ISD Human Resources if they have information that could lead to an investigation related to Mr. Waggoner's time in our schools.”

Original post, Tuesday, Sept. 5: A man who previously worked as a principal at school districts in Austin, Westlake and Round Rock has been arrested in Arizona after law enforcement accused him of soliciting young girls for sex, the Phoenix-area Pinal County sheriff’s office said.

Karl Waggoner was arrested Tuesday near Four Peaks Elementary School, the Phoenix-area school where he had just begun his job as principal this summer, the sheriff’s office said. Waggoner is charged with luring a minor for sex, Arizona records show.

Waggoner spent nine years as West Ridge Middle School’s principal at the Eanes school district before he was reassigned to be Westlake High School’s assistant principal in 2012.

He worked for a time as Anderson High School’s associate principal, and in 2014, the Round Rock school district hired him to be Hopewell Middle School’s principal until 2016, when the Round Rock district named him the associate director of administrative projects.

Authorities said they found online ads believed to have been posted by Waggoner soliciting young girls to go skinny dipping with him at his home, the sheriff’s office said. After finding this, a Pinal County sheriff's office detective conducted an undercover investigation, pretending to be a 14-year-old girl, and began communicating with Waggoner.

Waggoner engaged in "sexually inappropriate conversations" and "discussed engaging in sexual acts" with the undercover detective and provided sexually explicit photos, the sheriff’s office said.

The sheriff’s office in Arizona is working with Texas law enforcement agencies to investigate whether Waggoner may have committed similar acts there, the sheriff’s office said.

Waggoner is still an employee with the Arizona school district but is not performing any job duties for the district while the investigation continues, the Arizona school district wrote in a letter to parents. An assistant principal at a nearby school will take over Waggoner’s job.

“Even up until this weekend, Mr. Waggoner was posting ads online soliciting young girls for sex,” Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb said in a statement. “Waggoner held a position of trust, spending decades educating middle and high school students in Texas. We are working with those law enforcement agencies to see if there are any victims out there. Considering the evidence, we are grateful we were able to arrest Waggoner and keep him from victimizing children in our county.”

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