Crime

Man working at south Kansas City elementary school charged with child sex crimes

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A former mentor at a Kansas City elementary school has been charged with child enticement after he was accused of sending a 9-year-old girl dozens of sexually suggestive text messages and pictures.

Gary T. Curry, 61, was charged in May in Jackson County Circuit Court with two counts of child enticement and attempted child enticement for incidents that occurred in October with a child he was mentoring.

Curry had been working at Warford Elementary School as an independent contractor for the Hickman Mills School District, according to a written statement from the school district.

Marissa Wamble, a spokesperson for the district, said Wednesday that Curry’s contract was terminated the day parents alerted district officials to the allegations.

Curry had been vetted for hiring, Wamble said, and nothing appeared in his background check to suggest any danger to the children. The school district said it immediately reported the allegation to state child welfare authorities.

According to court records, an adult connected to the girl alerted Kansas City police that the child received about 240 text messages from Curry. The child began receiving the text messages about 4:47 p.m. on Oct. 5 and the messages continued for several hours and ended the following day, Oct. 6, about 6:20 p.m, according to prosecutors.

Curry worked as a mentor at the school and visited the girl’s class. He allegedly removed the child from class on several occasions to talk to her. Curry also sat with the child during breakfast and met her in the library. On one occasion while in the library, Curry allegedly gave the child his cellphone number and told her not to let anyone see it. He told the child to call him, prosecutors alleged.

The girl apparently texted Curry several emojis. At one point, Curry allegedly called the girl and made a sexually suggested comment to her.

Prosecutors allege Curry and the child exchanged several text messages. Curry told the girl to delete the text messages between them after they finished talking, which the child did.

Curry asked the child to send him pictures of herself. The girl responded by texting Curry five videos and five pictures she had on her phone.

Prosecutors said that, during a conversation using the FaceTime app, Curry told the girl that he liked the way she sucked her thumb.

During an interview later with investigators, Curry allegedly said he sometimes gives his cellphone number to children he is mentoring. Curry said he deleted some of his text messages but did not remember if he had any conversations with the children he is mentoring.

Investigators executed a search warrant for Curry’s cellphone and found numerous text messages between Curry and the girl. In one text message exchange, Curry allegedly told the girl , “Last week I had a dream about you. That really tripped me out.”

Curry is being held at the Jackson County jail on a $100,000 bond.

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