MANCHESTER, NH – Paul Johnson-Yarosevich, 34, of Acton, Maine – a physical education teacher in Manchester since 2005 – was arrested April 3 by Manchester Police, after a parent reported that his daughter shared “inappropriate” photos with him via social media, believing he was a girl her own age.
Johnson-Yarosevich was charged with prohibited use of computer services, a felony, for “knowingly using the internet to attempt to seduce, solicit, lure or entice a person.” Police allege he was posing as a young girl online to solicit the photographs.
A statement released by the school district on Monday, in conjunction with the arrest report, named Paul Johnson as the teacher who was placed on leave. Johnson is most recently listed as a physical education teacher at Parker-Varney Elementary School.
Manchester Police Detectives Matthew Solari and Rob Tremblay started an investigation on December 6, 2014, after an initial report was taken from the father of a pre-teen female student. The young girl alleged the incident involved a social media site with an unknown subject who was posing as a young girl.
Both detectives deal with computer related crimes, so they reached out to available resources to assist in the investigation. They utilized the assistance of Homeland Security, Maine State Police, and the State of Maine Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, as well as the Manchester School District.
A thorough investigation revealed the victim had been communicating with a person who misrepresented their age and gender. The victim thought she was communicating with a female student within her age range. However, Detective Solari realized the victim, who had shared inappropriate images of herself (at the other person’s request), was actually corresponding with an adult male, later identified as Johnson-Yarosevich.
Detectives were able to identify Johnson-Yarosevich as the person of interest with the assistance of Maine State Police, and determined he was employed by the Manchester School District.
The physical education teacher has been employed by the district since 2005. They executed a search warrant at his Acton, Maine, residence on April 3 and also notified the Manchester School District about the investigation, which prompted a meeting earlier today. Police detectives, school administrators and the teacher in question met at school district headquarters today.
Detectives placed him into custody without incident. He was booked at police headquarters and initially transported to Hillsborough County House of Corrections due to the fact he was unable to post his $5,000 cash/surety bail. As of 5 p.m. on April 6 police said Johnson-Yarosevich had posted bail and a court date was set for May 21, 2015 in Manchester District Court.
The complete statement issued by the Manchester School District follows:
The safety of our children is a top priority of Manchester School District. Paul Johnson was placed on leave prior to Monday’s arrest. We are fully cooperating with the police investigation into his alleged criminal conduct. Johnson has been a Manchester School District employee since 2005. The Manchester School District condemns the behavior alleged in this case and has taken swift and immediate action to ensure the safety and security of our students. Any questions regarding the ongoing investigation should be directed to Manchester Police and Lt. Brian O’Keefe at 792-5430.
Due to the sensitivity of the case, no further details will be released until the completion of the investigation. It is too early to confirm if this is an isolated incident, so the investigation remains open. However, police are working closely with the Manchester School District to ensure the safety of all the district’s children, police said.