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A former staff member at Anoka Middle School for the Arts is accused of multiple sexual assaults in the last decade, as recently as last year.

The Anoka County Sheriff’s Office received a report Thursday, June 25, alleging that approximately nine years ago a student at the school was sexually assaulted by a male staff member. The suspect no longer works at the school, and the victim is now an adult.

Investigators are also looking into an alleged 2019 sexual assault by the same suspect against a different victim, who was a male minor, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Cmdr. Wayne Heath said June 29 that investigators hadn't yet confirmed if the second victim was a student at the school.

Based on information posted to social media there may be more victims, the Sheriff’s Office said in a June 29 statement, but much of that information has not been reported to law enforcement.

The Sheriff’s Office is asking victims to report assaults to law enforcement. In Anoka County, victims can call 763-427-1212 to report a sexual assault.

On Friday, June 26, Anoka Middle School for the Arts Principal Jerri McGonigal sent a notice to parents that the school was “working with law enforcement and the appropriate agencies” regarding allegations against a former staff member after being alerted to a social media post June 25. Although the email to parents didn’t specify the nature of the allegations, it said the behavior described has “criminal implications.”

“Upon learning this information, we immediately moved forward with appropriate action based on district policy and state law,” the email to parents said. “Since this is a law enforcement matter, they’ll take the lead on the investigation.”

This story has been updated.


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