The trial for a former Collins-Maxwell middle and high school teacher who police said sent obscene pictures of himself to an undercover officer posing as a student in an online chat room, has been moved to Aug. 28, according to court documents.
Luke Stephen Crouse was arrested March 2, after being indicted on federal charges of attempted transfer of obscene materials to a minor and coercion and enticement, and made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Des Moines.
His initial trial was set for May 1.
According to the criminal complaint, an agent from the Department of Homeland Security Investigations in Arizona assumed the identity of a 14-year-old girl in the chatroom called Chatstep.
In the chatroom, Crouse allegedly identified himself as a 24-year-old from Iowa, and began to have contact with the agent who identified himself as “14f AZ here.”
Crouse is accused of asking the person he thought was a girl if he could have sex with her and sent the agent three photos of his genitals. Crouse described explicit sexual acts with the agent, and identified himself during the conversation as a teacher.
He also sent the agent a photo of his face in which a Collins-Maxwell Under Armour top was visible, court records show.
According to the complaint, Crouse asked the undercover officer to send a picture of “herself” winking, so he could verify she was a real person.
Court records show that some of the chats occurred around 3 p.m., right after school had dismissed for the day.
The Arizona agent checked information of Collins-Maxwell Middle School employees, and found Crouse’s photo. Another Homeland Security Investigations Agent whose child was taught by Crouse identified the teacher from the photos Crouse sent to the undercover agent, records show.
Court documents show that Crouse was arraigned Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.