Lenexa teacher accused of child sex crimes makes first court appearance

OLATHE, Kan. - A Lenexa physics and chemistry teacher who has been recognized for his work in the classroom now faces charges involving sexual crimes against a child.

Jeremy John Way, 42, made his first appearance in a Johnson County courtroom Tuesday. The St. James Academy teacher was charged with one count of criminal sodomy and one count of electronic solicitation of a child less than 16 but older than 14 on April 19.

Way's attorney Paul Morrison said he and his client are still waiting to see the police reports involved in this case. Morrison said he is still gathering information to prepare for his next court appearance.

The Archdiocese of Kansas City said it is cooperating with police on this case, and Way is innocent until proven guilty. A spokeswoman for the Archdiocese also said the case does not involve any students at St. James Academy.

The conditions of his bond state that he is not contact any victims or witnesses, or use a computer.

While in court, Way's attorney Paul Morrison asked the judge to change some of Way's current bond restrictions.

Morrison asked specifically that his client be allowed to go to places which serve alcohol, citing Royals games as an example. The judge granted that request as Morrison offered up an exchange on behalf of Way. While he may now go to places which serve alcohol, but he is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with anyone 18 and under in return.

Way was released under the slightly revised bond restrictions Tuesday but had no comment for news media as he made his way out of the courthouse in Olathe.

Way will be back in court May 9.

Way was the 2010 recipient of the Educating Excellence Award. He teaches chemistry and physics, and has also served as the Science Olympiad coach.

In addition to teaching kids in Lenexa, Way was also a volunteer at Harvest Ridge Covenant in Shawnee.

A church spokesperson said parishioners were told about what happened on Saturday.

"We want to love and encourage their family and any potential victim that may be involved in this particular situation," spokesperson Ken Schroeder said. "There has been no accusation to anything inappropriate with parishioners or any child or young adults at Harvest Ridge."

Schroeder said no one is ever alone with a child at Harvest Ridge Covenant, and everyone works as a team.

"We have safeguards in place to protect those within the walls of the church," he said.

The church said it is cooperating with police regarding Way's arrest.

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