LAKE STEVENS, Wash., January 3, 2023—A second victim of Lake Stevens High School teacher, Mark Hein, has been identified by Detective Kirstin Parnell through her month-long investigation of his alleged “grooming” and sexual misconduct toward a student, which could explain why prosecutors dropped all charges earlier this week while the investigation is ongoing.
Hein was placed on administrative leave this school year while allegations of inappropriate and unprofessional conduct were investigated by local law enforcement. He was arrested by the Lake Stevens Police Department, January 25, and was booked at the Snohomish County Jail. He posted bail that evening and was released.
The charges included two counts of communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, two counts of assault with sexual motivation, and two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor all gross misdemeanors punishable up to 364 days in jail and $5,000 in fines. All of these charges have since been dropped and his arraignment, scheduled for last Tuesday, was cancelled.
Lake Stevens PD is continuing its investigation and is working with the Snohomish County Prosecutor’s Office to refile pending those results, Detective Jeff Young, of the Lake Stevens Police Department, told the Lynnwood Times.
The second victim, also a 15-year-old girl, came forward with similar complaints about Hein’s behavior back in June of 2022. She was interviewed by Gina Coslett at Dawson’s Place on August 29, 2022, when she shared that she began to feel “targeted” during Hein’s 5th period math class.
The first day of class the student recalls Hein sitting behind her and talking to her while the rest of the class was working on their assignments. After other students had left, he even asked her to take down her face mask, a COVID-19 precaution all students were required to wear at the time, saying “I want to see what your face looks like” which she thought was “awkward.” No other teacher asked this of her.
According to the student, Hein often inserted himself in conversations she was having with other students about gymnastics and would even ask what she would wear at gymnastics meets. He never asked her what she wore to her soccer games, which she also participated in. He also inserted himself in a conversation she was having with another student about a new boy she was dating. Hein said he needed to meet her new boyfriend to make sure he was ok for her, she said.
Hein also used to flip her hair and touch her during class and write “weird things” on her hand. The student said he even began rubbing her back while standing behind her. When she repositioned herself and told him “no,” he began laughing.
Hein also asked to take pictures with the student frequently and asked her to send them to him, including a picture taken of her on pajama day – when her outfit exposed a portion of her chest and midriff. Another student reportedly was also asked to take pictures with Hein in a similar way. According to the report, Hein also asked both students if they had SnapChat, took one of their phones and took a “selfie” of himself on one of their SnapChat apps.
The student told investigators she did come forward with concerns about Hein to school administration. Although she did not remember which faculty member, specifically, she said they were the “head of the department we were in.”
Similar to the other student who came forward with concerns about Hein’s behavior, the second teenage victim was asked to stay after class to talk about personal things and would receive email messages from Hein from his iPhone outside school hours.
One of the students told Child Forensic Interviewers at Dawson’s Place, in Everett, Hein’s behavior began last September when he would caress her hair and inappropriately touch her upper thigh, refusing to stop when asked. He would do this at least once per class, she said. Hein would also exchange notes with her that were personal in nature, invited her to an overnight Young Life camp, and asked where she was competing for a cheerleading competition so he could attend. In one of these notes Hein asked what the student and her boyfriend do together, which the student photographed as evidence. The student also noticed her grades would change to A’s, undeservedly, even for an assignment she failed to turn in. When she asked Hein why she received an A he reportedly replied “don’t you need better grades?”
According to records obtained by the Lynnwood Times, Hein assigned the alleged victim to sit next to his desk during class where she remained throughout the school year despite other students’ desks rotating monthly. When the student asked why, Hein responded “Just leave it. Don’t you want to be next to me in class in case you need help?” In some cases the proximity of the student’s desk to Hein’s was so close the two were “side-by-side”, the report states, even appearing to be touching knees in a photograph she took as evidence, although the photograph does not show any faces.
On September 8, 2021, Hein sent an email to the student, and one other female student (also a minor), saying “Hey you two. I am enjoying you two in class already. You bring energy and effort and are just fun! Looking forward to the year and getting to know you both better.” Some emails sent to these two students were outside school hours and from his iPhone – not his work computer.
In once instance, the school was only allowing students to use one restroom on campus due to a recent TikTok trend. Hein told the student if she needed to use the restroom she should do so, as to have enough time to gather her things and make it to her next class. The bell rang while she was in the restroom and she immediately felt Hein had misled her into thinking she had more time than she had. When she returned to Hein’s classroom he was alone during what was a scheduled “planning period” – meaning he did not have any other students during this time. She also noticed her belongings had already been packed in her bag. Hein said he had done it to make it “easier on her” pleading her to stay with him instead of going to her next class. The student said she did not want to stay but Hein insisted saying he could write a note excusing her from her next class. When she finally left she noticed her bag had been stuffed with candy, which she knew was not there before and was the type of candy Hein typically kept in his desk. Hein had previously said that the candy was “not for everyone” but would frequently ask the student if she wanted any before class.
At least one of the two students (possibly both) would frequently be asked to stay after Hein’s class for no other reason but to talk about personal things – which often resulted in the student being late to their next class and made them feel uncomfortable, the report states.
Hein also approached the student’s boyfriend at the time, who was trying out for the boys’ basketball team, and asked him questions like: “how is [redacted] as a girlfriend?”, “What do you you two do together?”, and “What do you two do together when you’re alone?”
When the student and her mother approached school administration about Hein’s behavior, they transferred her to a new math class and reportedly spoke to Hein, ordering him to stay away from her. Hein did not heed the administration’s request and continued to visit her in her new classroom frequently, continuing to caress her arm and asked if she was “mad” at him for transferring classes.
Hein admitted to Officers that he sent students emails outside school hours and that he was also aware of the school’s order to refrain from contacting her. The Lynnwood Times has submitted a request for these emails, but Hein could seek a court order to have the records blocked. The Times is also awaiting records from the OSPI to find out what action the administration took following the student’s complaint.
As a result of Hein’s behavior the student began to have epileptic seizures that became so intense she could no longer attend school or school sporting events.
Hein, when interviewed by investigators, said his behavior was a “big misunderstanding” and shrugged off his physical touching, which he admitted, as just being an affectionate person by nature. He also said that every conversation and note exchange was initiated by the student. Hein denied talking to the student’s boyfriend and approaching her in the hallways after he was ordered by the school to refrain contact. Multiple other students who witnessed these interactions said otherwise.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.