Former Minneapolis teacher pleads guilty to stalking one of his students

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

A former teacher pleaded guilty to a single count of felony stalking for aggressively pursuing a 17-year-old student in his Minneapolis South High School class, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Dan Arlen Anderson, 46, of Oakdale, pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to stalking a victim less than 18 years old. A second charge of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct, which included the fact that he held a position of authority over her, will be dismissed at the sentencing hearing Jan. 6.

Under the sentencing guidelines, Anderson would receive probation. Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Therese Galatowitsch told Hennepin County District Court Judge Tamara Garcia that prosecutors will ask for five years on probation and for him to serve some jail time, although the agreement caps that at 90 days. He also must undergo a psychosexual evaluation and enroll in any recommended sex offender treatment. Prosecutors also will ask that he register as a sex offender as part of his sentence.

During questioning by his attorney, Sara MacGillis, Anderson admitted that he began pursuing the student in May and that he had “reason to know this was causing her great stress.” He also acknowledged sending her many text messages.

Galatowitsch asked more questions, however, and Anderson admitted he had known the girl for some time because he was her teacher and often discussed personal information with her, including her sexual experiences. On May 15, he asked her to have sex with him and she said she would think about it.

That same day, he pulled her out of class and into the hallway to ask about her “final assignment” which was having sex with Anderson, he admitted. She made several excuses and the next day, he called her up to his desk and asked for her phone number and texted her in class to make sure she was getting the messages, he said in court.

Anderson admitted that he continued to send her text messages that pressured her for sex and included a sexually explicit picture of his penis.

In addition, Anderson acknowledged that he had reason to know this would be upsetting to the victim because he had received sexual harassment training from the Minneapolis Public School district just a few months earlier because of a prior complaint in his classroom.

The county attorney’s office also made it clear to Judge Garcia that any sentence should make it difficult, if not impossible, for Anderson to have any position of authority over children in the future.