A 48-year-old teacher from Backus, Minnesota, has been arrested and charged with having a sexual relationship with a student. The man has been a math teacher at Bemidji’s Voyageurs Expeditionary School for five years. He was also known to teach speech, marketing, business ethics and accounting. The teacher was arraigned on Friday, Jan. 3 in a Beltrami County Court on the charges of criminal sexual conduct. The student in question is 16 years old.
The girl informed authorities about the relationship, which was allegedly ongoing between October and December of last year. According to court documents, the teacher and the student had sexual intercourse a minimum of three times. The alleged encounters occurred in a Minneapolis hotel room, as well as inside the teacher’s car. The school that employs the man has placed him on administrative leave for which he will not be paid.
Court documents also allege that the teacher used Gmail hangouts to contact the girl. Law enforcement found 60 pages of messages between the girl and the teacher beginning in October 2013. The chat messages allegedly include discussions related to the pair’s sexual relationship.
The school has stated that they are fully cooperating with the investigation currently being conducted by sheriff’s office. The teacher is facing a maximum of 15 years in prison, as well as a possible $30,000 fine. According to the school’s biography for the teacher, the man is married and has three adult children.
Sex crimes such as this have notoriously high penalties. While the man has not yet been proven guilty in the courts, he will need to be working closely with a skilled defense attorney if there is going to be any chance of reducing the possible sentence he is currently facing.
Source: bemidjipioneer.com, “UPDATE: Bemidji teacher arrested on sex crime charges” Crystal Dey, Jan. 03, 2014