By Megan Hopps
Sun Press Newspapers
The man accused of engaging with an adult, special needs student at Champlin Park High School is now in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.
The 42-year-old, of New Hope was arrested Wednesday, March 8, at Champlin Park High School for allegedly engaging in sex acts with a 19-year-old male student in a school bathroom. Authorities believe he entered the school around noon and had two, pre-arranged sexual encounters with the student. The man entered the school through the front doors, deceived security and met the student in the bathroom.
“This is a very sensitive and complex case,” said Brooklyn Park Deputy Police Chief Mark Bruley. “There is information we can not release due to data practices laws.”
Brooklyn Park Police believe the two were collaborating via an unnamed social media app. Authorities believe the suspect was in the school for approximately 55 minutes.
During a press conference held Friday, March 10, Bruley said that the student did have special needs.
“What we have to determine is the mental capacity and the willingness or ability of the student, even though he’s 19-years-old, to consent to sex,” Bruley said.
Video footage from the high school shows the suspect walking the halls between the sexual encounters. Bruley said he was not engaging with other students.
“The second encounter was interrupted by other students who had become concerned about the individual,” Bruley said.
The incident was reported by other students to school staff.
“School administration and security personnel were able to apprehend the suspect and law enforcement took him into custody,” Principal George said in a statement. “Our school is continuing to cooperate with the law enforcement investigation.”
In a statement released by Champlin Park Principal Mike George, the man violated the school’s safety procedures when entering the school. To enter Champlin Park High School visitors are required to enter Door E3. During school hours, all visitors must swipe their drivers license, check-in at the visitors desk and note who they are visiting and for what reason. George added that because of this incident, the school is also conducting their own investigation and reviewing its safety procedures.
“Visitors to the school will be escorted to their location making sure their intended routes are followed,” said Jim Skelly, Communications Director for the Anoka-Hennepin School District.
The district released a statement Friday stating, “The school will be reviewing long-term security measures with the Brooklyn Park Police Department to identify additional actions that may be needed.”
According to the Brooklyn Park Police Department, the suspect has a Washington state driver’s license. Also according to the department, the suspect “travels quite a bit.” It is not known at this time if he has a prior criminal record.
The Press is monitoring the developments of this case and will post updates on pressnews.com.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]