Vallivue educator faces felony theft charges

CALDWELL – A Vallivue educator is facing felony grand theft charges, and is accused of stealing almost $5,000 worth of electronic devices from the Caldwell School District, where she used to teach.

Elysa Skousen mugshot 2
Elysa Skousen’s booking photo. Courtesy of Canyon County Sheriff’s Office.

According to Canyon County court records, Elysa G. Skousen, 35, was booked and released Tuesday on felony charges of receiving, possessing or disposing of stolen property. Skousen, who also uses the name Elisa G. Deleon, is scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Jan. 20 in Canyon County.

On Wednesday afternoon, an employee within the payroll department of the Vallivue School District confirmed that Skousen works at Vallivue Academy. When asked, she said Skousen’s status as an employee is current as of Wednesday.

The criminal complaint dates to August 2013, when Caldwell Superintendent Tim Rosandick filed a report with Caldwell police saying Skousen purchased items with school district money, left her employment with the district and failed to return the items.

Skousen is a former Canyon Springs High School teacher, but has not worked in Caldwell for about two years.

Rosandick and Caldwell administrators say Skousen had possession of nine electronic devices that have gone missing, according to an affidavit of probable cause signed by Caldwell Police detective Michelle Emmons. The devices include two iPod Touches, three iPad 2s, an iMac 27 and three iPad minis – valued at $4,746.96.

Emmons served a search warrant at Skousen’s home on Feb. 21, 2014 and recovered an iPad 2 with a serial number matching one of the devices that was reported missing, according to the affidavit. Additionally, according to the affidavit, Emmons seized a Nikon D90 camera and D5100 lens with serial numbers that correspond to a purchase order that states the camera and lens belong to the district. The purchase order for the photography equipment was for $1,234.67.

In her affidavit, Emmons wrote that she interviewed two people who obtained electronic devices that were reported missing from the district after answering ads on the online service Craigslist. In one case, a person said he met a teacher in a Nampa Best Buy parking lot and traded a Google Chromebook for an iPad.

In another case, a different man said he traded a tablet for an iPad in a parking lot in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The man  provided police with a phone number associated with Skousen, according to Emmons’ affidavit.

Skousen told Emmons that her students used the iPads to make videos in class, and that she left them in her classroom when she moved out.

In 2002, Skousen was charged in Canyon County with felony theft by acquiring lost property. That charge was later amended to a lesser charge of petit theft when Skousen pleaded guilty. She was sentenced to 90 days in prison, with 80 days suspended, according to court records.

The affidavit of probable cause attached to the most recent complaint also alleges that an Apple MacBook Pro laptop computer and a bookcase were missing from the office of Skousen’s husband, former Caldwell Freshman Academy principal Jacob Skousen. He told Caldwell police that he left his keys, cell phone, iPad and laptop on his desk when he left the district.

Jacob Skousen has not been charged with any crime.

In a separate, civil case filed last year, Jacob Skousen is suing the Caldwell School District. Jacob Skousen’s civil case is scheduled to go before a jury in Canyon County on May 27.

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