A Birchwood Christian School teacher accused of molesting a student has been hit with 14 felony charges of sexually abusing a minor, Anchorage police said Monday.
Jenson Eugene Seifert, 25, is accused of molesting a 14-year-old boy repeatedly, including while he was chaperoning a youth outing at Alyeska Resort, police said.
Seifert works for the private school, run by The Crossing at Birchwood church, as a teacher, basketball coach and youth mentor, police said. According to police, he had known the victim for years.
"He's one of those guys who was doing it all," said Sgt. Cindi Stanton, supervisor of the Anchorage Police Department crimes against children unit. "Being the family friend, he has more opportunity to really build that trust and to maybe make the child a little more less willing to disclose to his parents because he's their good friend."
According to charges filed in court, police caught on to Seifert Friday, when the victim's mother reported that her son had become withdrawn from Seifert and that Seifert appeared to become controlling of her son.
The boy told police Seifert had repeatedly molested him, including on the youth trip. On one occasion, he woke up to find someone molesting him, the charges say.
The child also described several other graphic encounters between himself and Seifert, which began last August.
His mentor told the boy on one occasion that he struggled with alcohol abuse and lust and that he had a laptop filled with "stuff" the victim took to mean pornography, the charges say.
Under questioning, Seifert at first told police he had an encounter with the boy at Alyeska but insisted it was the only one, though he did chaperone several other outings, the charges say. Seifert told police he was curious and that he touched the boy over his clothes, but nothing else, the papers say.
"Seifert assured the detective that nothing had ever happened with any other kids, that the victim was the only one," the charges say. "When confronted with the fact that there were additional incidences, Seifert began to cry harder and admitted that there were several times when he touched the victim and 'did what he did.' "
Seifert was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor along with 12 counts of second-degree sexual abuse. He was booked at the Anchorage jail with bail set at $100,000, according to police.
Court records indicate Seifert has no criminal history in Alaska.
Lt. Dave Parker said police were investigating the possibility that there were other victims, although none have yet been identified.
"If there are other victims, they need to come forward; the ice has broken," Parker said. "I would not be at all surprised were there other victims."
Details on the school, including its attendance and how many students Seifert was in charge of, were not immediately available. Church officials would not release any information, including whether Seifert was still employed there.
"All the church has to say is that we are cooperating with the authorities," said office administrator Cyndi Carlson.
A message left at a listing for Seifert's family was not returned Monday.
Find James Halpin online at adn.com/contact/jhalpin or call him at 257-4589.
By JAMES HALPIN