WALKER -- A Pine River-Backus science teacher has been accused of hugging and kissing a 13-year-old student in his vehicle and at his home during the last school year.
Steven Ray Jankowski, 29, Walker, was arraigned Monday in Cass County District Court on felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and gross misdemeanor child endangerment charges. He is scheduled to make his next court appearance Monday.
The court complaint filed against Jankowski alleges he gave a 13-year-old student a ride home after school on several occasions. Once, he allegedly took a different route, stopping along the way to hug and kiss her.
The complaint also accuses him of telling the student in December to tell her parents she would spend the night at someone else's house. He then allegedly took the girl to his home and is accused of hugging and kissing her and once touching her buttocks.
The Pine River Police Department was notified of the allegations March 2, according to the court complaint.
Pine River-Backus Superintendent James Madsen said Wednesday the district employed Jankowski as a science teacher the last two school years. He was still on probationary status.
When Pine River Police Department notified the school district of its investigation into the case, Madsen said the district placed Jankowski on paid administrative leave the end of March. At an April meeting, Madsen said the school board voted not to renew Jankowski's teaching contract with the district.
The Cass County sheriff's office also participated in the investigation.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.