Former ski coach pleads guilty to charge

A ski coach accused of secretly recording nude teen girls has pleaded guilty to a related federal offence.

  • Nov. 4, 2015 3:00 p.m.

LEVI PULKKINEN

seattlepi.com

A ski coach at a Seattle private school accused of secretly recording nude teen girls on a trip to Silver Star Mountain Resort has pleaded guilty to a related federal offence.

Bush School ski coach Jason Paur was arrested near Kelowna after he was caught making videos of Bush School students during a trip to Silver Star in December 2013. Initially charged in Canada, Paur, 44, faced federal prosecutors after he was returned to the United States.

Initially accused of producing child pornography, Paur pleaded guilty Monday morning to a reduced charge. Paur previously served time in Canada for crimes related to the incident.

Authorities in B.C. arrested Paur on Dec. 11, 2013. The following day, federal investigators searched Paur’s home in Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood.

Having worked for the Madison Valley private school for more than 15 years, Paur coached the Bush School cross country running and skiing teams. He and the co-ed cross country ski team were at Silver Star for a five-day training session when Paur was arrested.

A chaperone on the trip contacted RCMP the night of Dec. 10 after three girls found a video camera hidden in their bedroom.

The girls, aged 14 to 16, initially thought the camera was a prank, but then, on viewing the recording, saw Paur setting up the camera in the bedroom of other girls on the trip.

An officer arrived and confirmed what the girls told their chaperones. The officer arrested Paur just before 2 a.m. and was subsequently charged in Canada.

Searching Paur’s home, investigators seized five cell phones, a laptop, two cameras and three hard drives. They also recovered 31 flash drives and 99 mini-digital video cassettes. One video seized from his home showed a 17-year-old girl changing during a school ski trip in 2011, a Homeland Security Investigations agent said in a sworn statement. The video also showed Paur, who was engaged to marry at the time, setting up the camera.

Two other videos taken during a 2012 ski trip also showed two girls changing. The girls were identified and determined to be 14 and 15 at the time. Paur, again, was caught on video recovering the camera.

According to the agent, Paur also recorded girls at Bush School. Paur is shown on the November 2013 video setting up the camera minutes before the girl entered the room to change; he returned seconds after she finished to recover the camera.

Paur was returned to the United States in March. He initially pleaded not guilty, and has been jailed since.

Paur pleaded guilty to transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. In doing so, he admitted to taking one or more people across a border intending to engage in child pornography production.

He is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 2 in U.S. District Court at Seattle.