The Pocatello, Idaho, man accused of trying to have sex with a teenage girl was, until recently, a staff member at Idaho State University.
Luke Lovell, 38, was fired July 17, according to Associate Vice President of Marketing and Communications Stuart Summers.
“Mr. Lovell was formerly employed as an Interactive Video Conferencing Classroom Specialist who assisted faculty with video connections between campus locations,” Summers stated in an email to the News&Guide. “Mr. Lovell worked at Idaho State for less than one year.”
Lovell’s name is redacted in Wyoming court documents because of a restricted disclosure law. But his name is public record in Idaho court documents, which were obtained by the News&Guide.
Lovell turned himself into the Teton County Jail on June 27 after police said they caught him trying to have sex with a fictitious 13-year-old girl from Jackson.
An undercover agent with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation posed as 13-year-old “Taya Parker” on Kik, a chat application.
According to charging documents, Lovell was making arrangements to visit Jackson to have sex with Parker.
Lovell said he and Parker needed a safe place to meet and a “fool-proof plan” because he could get in trouble because of her age.
“I just don’t know if I can go through with it,” Lovell messaged. “If you get caught big deal, you get grounded. If I get caught, I’m going to jail.”
Lovell asked Parker for a topless photo, if she would be interested in a threesome, if he could record them having sex and if she would snort cocaine with him. He then suggested they have sex “near the Tetons.”
Investigators obtained a search warrant April 17 to search Lovell’s Pocatello house, his car and his Idaho State University office.
Lovell is facing one felony count of soliciting to engage in illicit sexual relations.
Lovell is still on Idaho State University’s online staff page, listed as an interactive video conferencing classroom specialist based at the school’s Pocatello campus.
After search warrants were executed, a nationwide felony warrant was issued and Lovell turned himself in. He was in jail for six hours before being released, records show.
Court documents show Lovell’s bond was lowered to $5,000 after he hired Dick Mulligan as his attorney.
Lovell was ordered not to have any contact with minors who are not accompanied by an adult.
He was also ordered to stay home except between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturdays for errands and 8:45 to 11:15 a.m. Sundays for worship.
He is scheduled to appear Thursday morning in Teton County Circuit Court.