Former Punahou teacher charged in child-sex crimes
A former Punahou School drama teacher is awaiting trial in Virginia on federal charges he used the Internet to lure eight children for sex.
Richard Neal Willetts, who taught at Punahou in the 2003-04 school year, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of enticement and sexual exploitation of children. He was being held at Central Virginia Regional Jail.
The 26-year-old Willetts is accused of trying to persuade youngsters to engage in sexual acts and pose for photos dating to September 2005.
Heidi Coy, spokeswoman for the U.S. prosecutor's office in Virginia, said one of the alleged victims is from Hawai'i.
Punahou spokeswoman Laurel Husain said Willetts spent one year at Punahou's student-teacher mentoring program, a type of internship for young college graduates interested in becoming teachers.
She said there have been no complaints against Willetts so far at the prestigious private school.
"We will continue to check until everybody has been contacted," she said.
Since leaving Punahou, Willetts has earned a master's degree in teaching at the University of Virginia.