School employee charged in online sex sting

Tyson Swan is charged with online solicitation of a minor

November 16, 2011 5:00:13 PM PST
An online police sting led to the arrest of a private school employee accused of exposing himself to who he thought was a teenage girl.

Though the 32-year-old man has been placed on leave from his job at the Banff school in northwest Harris County, officials call his actions "harmless."

Police say the suspect works as an office manager here at the Banff school. Parents tell us they were only alerted about this on Wednesday even though he was arrested in September.

Tyson Swan, 32, was just indicted this week by a Fort Bend County Grand Jury on a charge of online solicitation of a minor.

"Swan would ask the girl what she was wearing. Swan would ask the girl about her sexual experiences and preferences. He would request photographs of the girl," said Doug Adolph with the Sugar Land Police Department.

Police say Swan had been talking for weeks in a chat room with an officer who he believed was a 14-year-old girl. Things escalated and police say that's when he began appearing on his web cam.

"Ultimately he exposed himself to her online," Adolph said.

He was arrested at his northwest Harris County home in September.

No one answered when we went there seeking comment. On Cutten Road at the Banff School where he works, parents told Eyewitness News they were only emailed about the arrest Wednesday.

"I think they should be send something before that," said June Nguyen, aunt of a Banff student.

Police say Swan's family operates the school. Banff officials say Swan never had direct contact with children here. The director, Irmgard Banff tells me Swan was born with spina bifida. Of the allegation against Swan she says, "it is a very harmless thing. It was very unfortunate. He never meant harm."

Banff asked us not to run this story insisting it would "destroy" Swan and "it would ruin the school."

"As a parent am I concerned? Absolutely," said Carol Lockwood.

Parents like Lockwood stand by the school.

"Do I think they're handling it correctly? Absolutely. Do I feel unsafe here? Not at all," said Lockwood.

The school says Swan is on leave now pending the criminal prosecution. His attorney says he can't comment because he hasn't seen the police report yet. If convicted, Swan could be sent to prison for up to 10 years.