Elementary teacher tried to meet teen girl for sex, prosecutor claims

Michael Johnson
Michael Johnson

A 62-year-old man arrested last week for allegedly attempting to have sexual contact with a 15-year-old girl is a teacher at Longfellow and Jefferson elementary schools.

Michael Johnson, of Boise, was arrested March 22 for attempted lewd conduct with a child younger than 16. He teaches physical education in Boise and was a former assistant boys basketball coach at Borah, Boise and Capital high schools.

In court on Friday, an Ada County deputy prosecutor said Johnson was caught after interacting with an undercover police officer online. Johnson believed he was talking to a “35-year-old woman” who wanted to have sex with Johnson and her “15-year-old daughter,” the prosecutor said.

The prosecutor said Johnson was told multiple times in the conversation that the “girl” was 15, and yet he still agreed to meet the girl and her mother for sex. At that time, police arrested him and booked him into Ada County Jail.

The prosecutor told Magistrate Judge Michael Oths that the state considered him “extremely dangerous for the community” and requested bond be set at $350,000.

Oths set the bond at $25,000 and Johnson posted bail on Monday.

Johnson was caught through a sting conducted by the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit within the Attorney General’s Office that also led to the arrests of 10 other men.

Boise School District spokesman Dan Hollar said immediately after Johnson’s arrest, he was placed on paid administrative leave. On Wednesday, the district sent an email to parents and guardians of Longfellow and Jefferson elementary school students stating they were cooperating with the investigation.

“As educators, we understand and fully assume the responsibility of ensuring our students have a safe learning environment,” the email stated. “Thus, we feel this decision to place this employee on administrative leave is in the best interest of both our students and our schools. The safety of all of our children is our foremost concern, and the Boise School District has policies and procedures in place to safeguard the well-being of our children.”