A Virginia middle school teacher accused of committing sex acts with a student was caught by the boy's mother, evidence shows.
Matthew Snell, 31, was arrested in El Paso, Texas, last month after learning Fairfax County police were investigating him, police said.
The mother of a student at Thoreau Middle School in Vienna found inappropriate messages from Snell on the student's phone.
“The mother had went to the middle school where her son attends, and actually contacted the assistant principal to let them know she had found concerning messages on an electronic device that the victim had left at home,” Fairfax County police Det. Rashid Roberts said.
The assistant principal confronted Snell, and police were called.
Snell took off but was caught the next day.
According to court documents, one of the alleged sex acts took place in a classroom at the school.
Some of Snell’s messages to the student expressed jealousy over the boy’s girlfriend, according to a search warrant.
“You chose her over me,” one said.
Others said, “We gotta chill in class” and “I’m tired of being ignored.”
Snell also allegedly bought the student gifts and supplied him with e-cigarettes.
“Those are for you dude, only you,” another message reads. “They are too expensive for other kids, but I don’t mind getting them for you.”
Snell was charged with carnal knowledge of a child and taking indecent liberties with a child.
Snell was a learning disabilities teacher at the school. He has been fired. Previously he served in the U.S. Army.
The case is a good example of why it is a good idea for parents to monitor their children's devices, police said.
“There shouldn’t be a stigma with a parent snooping into their devices,” Roberts said. “Ultimately, they’re doing it because they care for their child, they’re responsible for them and they want them to be safe.”