A teacher at Exeter High School was arrested on campus Friday morning for allegedly molesting an underage high school girl last year at his Visalia home.
Visalia police said Matthew Varpness, 36,molested the girl in April 2014. Detectives said Varpness also sent sexually explicit text messages and photos to the girl as well as to another underage high school girl. Visalia police spokesman Sgt. Damon Maurice said Varpness is believed to have sent both girls numerous messages throughout most of 2014.
Varpness was arrested on suspicion of child molestation and annoying a minor.
Varpness started teaching at Exeter High School five years ago, and since August, has been teaching at the high school and Wilson Middle School, said Exeter Unified School District Superintendent Tim Hire. At the high school, he has taught English and computer programming/web design. At the middle school, he taught drama as well as computer programming/web design.
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Hire said Varpness will not be permitted on any district campus while he remains under investigation. Hire said the district has “taken a course of action that ensures the students will not be in contact with Mr. Varpness.”
On Friday, Hire said he couldn’t discuss whether Varpness might be put on paid leave or fired.
Police said they don’t know if there are additional victims and that the investigation is ongoing.
The Exeter Police Department and Exeter Unified School District are assisting with the investigation.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Visalia Police Department at (559) 734-8117 or Visalia police violent crime detectives at (559) 713-4234.