Teacher accused of raping women he met online

Posted: Updated:
Ryan Robert Raths, 40 By Mike Gertzman Ryan Robert Raths, 40 By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Police say an elementary school teacher has been arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting women he met on Internet social media sites.

The cases date back nearly 10 years to 2004, according to court documents.

Ryan Robert Raths, 40, is facing four felony counts of sexual assault. He was arrested Thursday at his Glendale home in the 6000 block of W. Via Theresa Drive, near 59th Avenue and Union Hills Drive, where he has lived for 3 1/2 years.

Glendale police say Raths is accused of sexually assaulting a woman in September 2004 in an apartment where she went to meet him to get a copy of a record produced by his band.

He's also accused of assaulting a 29-year-old woman at his apartment in October 2007. She had just moved to Arizona from California. The two met on the myspace.com website.

Anyone that might have information on unreported crimes committed by Raths or anyone that believes Raths’ contact with them may have been inappropriate should contact police.

Raths is being held without bond. He has a status conference scheduled in his case on Nov. 27 and a preliminary hearing on Dec. 2.

Court documents list Raths as an employee of the Washington Elementary School district. Glendale police said he is a school teacher.

According to statement from the school district Raths is a former fourth grade teacher at Roadrunner Elementary School who is on administrative leave for an unrelated reason.

"What is District doing as far as background checks; something was missing somewhere along the line," said parent Scott Simmons.

While police reports reveal several allegations and police reports filed against Raths over the years, none resulted in prior convictions.  A district spokeswoman says only convictions would have been flagged during a background check.

The nearly 90 page police report also reveals Raths used to work at Alhambra School District but was recommended to be terminated "based on performance and acts of anger towards other employees," according to documents.

3TV spoke to a neighbor who said the charges come as a complete surprise.

"He's just been an all around good neighbor, good dad, good teacher," said Travis Maillie.  "I've gone to see his band play a few times."

Raths is a singer in a band called "Hollow."

Click here to see the band's YouTube channel.

WESD Statement regarding Ryan Raths

The Washington Elementary School District was informed Friday, November 22 that Ryan Raths, a former fourth grade teacher at Roadrunner Elementary School, was arrested Thursday, November 21 for alleged criminal activity not involving minors.

Mr. Raths has been on administrative leave for three weeks for reasons unrelated to this alleged criminal activity. Mr. Raths has been employed with WESD since August of 2013.

The Associated Press contributed to this report