A teacher fired from a Pinedale school two years ago after he was the subject of a child-predator sting video in California was not charged with a crime, but is no longer licensed to teach in Wyoming.
David Shaw, formerly a special-education teacher in Pinedale, became the topic of an online video in April 2022 for allegedly trying to set up a clandestine meeting with a 14-year-old boy.
A video maker identified as People v Preds posed as an underage boy and chatted with Shaw on the Grindr social media hookup app, according to the video.
“Lol do u mind if I’m not 18,” the video-maker texted Shaw, according to screenshots presented in the video. “I’m about to turn 15 in September.”
When Shaw went to the reported meeting location outside a pharmacy in San Diego, the video maker confronted him — loudly.
“I have a picture of you buddy. Does this look like you?” the man says in the video. “Why do I have your picture on my phone at the spot that you were coming to meet me? Make that add up for me.”
Shawn confirms the photograph is of him, but indicates he doesn’t know how the video maker got the photo.
Eventually Shaw called police himself to report the video maker for harassing him, but the video ends with Shaw being arrested.
Shaw was not charged with a sex crime, Sublette County Sheriff KC Lehr told Cowboy State Daily on Tuesday.
Lehr said the district attorney in San Diego was not pursuing cases like Shaw’s “because of the third parties making the allegations.”
In other words, the third party setting up the sting is apparently a problem for prosecutors in San Diego.
The San Diego District Attorney’s Office did not return Cowboy State Daily’s emails and phone calls to confirm.
The San Diego Police Department and the city also were little help. The police department referred Cowboy State Daily to the city’s records request portal, and the city declined to give a report from the incident, saying the press isn’t on the list of people who can access documents pertaining to someone’s criminal history.
Would Have Chased It
Lehr said it’s “disappointing” that the San Diego office did not pursue a case against Shaw.
He said his office would have been able to pursue such a case by treating the third party as a witness, though charging decisions ultimately would be up to the Sublette County Attorney.
Had the incident happened in Wyoming, “I think charges could have been pursued,” said Lehr.
Lehr said his office watched for anyone to come forward locally with allegations against Shaw, but no one ever did.
Into Thin Air
Lehr said he doesn’t know where Shaw went, but understands Shaw no longer lives in his former home in Sublette County.
Brendan O’Connor, executive director of the Wyoming Professional Teaching Standards Board, told Cowboy State Daily that he has been unable reach Shaw, though the board has tried to reach Shaw to pursue an open investigation into his teaching eligibility.
The board opened an investigation into Shaw in spring 2022, around the same time People v Preds made the video.
Shaw’s Wyoming teaching license expired in March 2023 and he is no longer licensed to teach in the state, O’Connor added.
O’Connor noted that the Wyoming board has had trouble getting information out of California authorities as well.
“We never got any response to our request” for information on Shaw’s case, he said.
Cowboy State Daily was unable to reach Shaw, either by a Wyoming number given to the outlet or via other numbers listed online.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.