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Former students recall inappropriate actions from Blue Springs teacher now facing sex charges

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- James Russell Green, also known as Russell Green Jr., made his first appearance in court Monday, charged with statutory sodomy. Green is on administrative leave from his job at Northgate Middle School in the North Kansas City school district.

He is a Technology for Life teacher at Northgate Middle School in the North Kansas CIty School District. Prosecutors say he used technology to find his sexual partners; some of those, prosecutors say, were underage.

Court records say Green had at least two victims -- a then 16-year-old boy from Smithville who just came forward -- though the crimes happened more than more than 10 years ago. The other victim was a former student of Green's, and court documents say they communicated as late as last week.

That first victim told prosecutors Green bought him a car, a cell phone, and tennis shoes as their relationship turned physical. This allegedly took place in 2005, when Green was 41 years old.

FOX 4's Rebecca Gannon spoke with some of Green's former students, people who he had in class and coached on swim teams. Some said they feel betrayed because they really trusted him. Others said they knew it was just a matter of time before he was arrested.

"I kinda knew this was going to happen, eventually," said Daniel Bourne via Skype on Monday. Bourne was a swimmer on the Blue Springs South team in 2006, when James Green was a coach.

"He was just creepy," said Bourne with a sigh. "Honestly. I felt something off about him, when he was actually coaching us."

"He would ask me if I messed around with any of the guys on the swim team," explained Bourne. "Listed off all these guys I swam with, basically. And asked what I did with them. I found it inappropriate."

Bourne now lives in Denver, but other people FOX 4 spoke with said the same thing.

"I knew it was coming," said Bourne. "I knew it was going to happen eventually. Because if he was saying this to me, and fantasizing about all that stuff with other swimmers that I was on the team with, if he was going to do it with the swimmers that he was teaching at the time, who were all underage, you know?"

Bourne said Green sent him messages via a gay dating site after Bourne turned 18. But investigators said Green also used technology to contact 16-year-old boys.

Parents of students at Northgate Middle School, from which Green currently is on administrative leave, are concerned.

"This kind of thing," said parent Melody Conner, "he's in his 50's. It didn't start when he was 49; it didn't start then. How long has he had access to kids?"

Conner and others are concerned about their children, any other victims there may be of Green, and making sure no other teachers are taking inappropriate actions with children.

This is the second time in two years a Northgate Middle School teacher has been implicated for having sex with students.

"It's probably not the second teacher," said Conner. "It's probably the second teacher on the news."

In 2016, Samuel Waltemath pleaded guilty to second degree sodomy. He was accused of meeting a young teenage girl at night, and raping her in a treehouse.

Regarding Green, there may be more victims out there. He has a 30+ year teaching career in the Kansas City metro area.

Green began his career in North Kansas City schools in 1990.
1990-91 School year: Eastgate Middle
1991-92 School year: Antioch Middle
1992-93 through 2004-05 School years: Oak Park High School
2005-06 through 2008-2009 School Years: Blue Springs South High2010-11 to present – Northgate Middle School

The FBI has set up a hotline for any of Green's additional victims to call: (816) 805-5138.

Investigators believe Green is a danger to the community because in addition to admitting to having sex with two underage boys, Green said he videotaped boys in locker room settings.

Bourne, for his part, is interested to see if other victims come forward. His 10-year high school reunion is this year.

"I'm kind of, actually, shocked that it takes this long," he said. "But it's understandable, because most people don't want to talk about this kind of thing."