Former Willmar teacher makes first court appearance in criminal sexual conduct case
WILLMAR -- The former Willmar Senior High School teacher and coach accused of having an inappropriate relationship with one of his students made his first court appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court.
WILLMAR - The former Willmar Senior High School teacher and coach accused of having an inappropriate relationship with one of his students made his first court appearance Thursday in Kandiyohi County District Court.
Chad Jeffrey Akerson, 34, of Ashby, faces charges of first-, second- and third degree criminal sexual conduct. Judge Randall Slieter set bail Thursday at $50,000 with conditions and $200,000 without conditions.
Akerson remained in custody as of Thursday evening at the Kandiyohi County Jail, according to the jail‘s online custody list. He will make his next court appearance Dec. 15.
The criminal complaint on the charges alleges that Akerson had sexual contact beginning in 2009 with a female student who was 15 years old at the time and is now 20 years old.
Akerson resigned in October 2012 from his job as health instructor and weight room supervisor at Willmar Senior High School, just a few days after he was investigated by the school, according to Willmar Superintendent Jerry Kjergaard.
Akerson was terminated from his coaching duties for junior varsity baseball, girls soccer and girls hockey in March 2010, according to school board minutes.
Akerson has been placed on unpaid leave at his current teaching job as physical education teacher at Ashby High School, according to Allan Jensen, superintendent of Ashby School District.
Jensen said the school district, located in a small town northwest of Alexandria, sent out a news release to parents Thursday after being made aware of the allegations.
“We, of course, are in a difficult position as to what we can say,” said Jensen. “We were pretty surprised.”
If Akerson chooses to post conditional bail, he will be ordered to abide by conditions that include not possessing firearms or other weapons and having no contact with the 20-year-old woman.
Kandiyohi County Assistant Attorney John Kallestad requested those conditions during Akerson’s first appearance Thursday.
Kallestad said the woman has reported that Akerson made attempts to contact her, threatening to harm himself and telling her not to cooperate with law enforcement.
Akerson countered this allegation Thursday and said he does not pose a risk of harming himself or anyone else.
Kallestad also argued that Akerson should not be present on elementary or high school grounds.
“What I will require is for Akerson to notify his current employer of the allegations,” Judge Slieter said. “They can decide what steps if any they will do on the charges.”
The criminal complaint alleges that a Willmar detective took a statement Nov. 6 from the 20-year-old woman who said Akerson began having sexual contact with her in October 2009 at his home, when she was 15 years old.
Sexual contact, along with text messages, continued and Akerson allegedly began having regular sexual intercourse with the girl in January 2010, according to the criminal complaint.
They had sex in various rooms at Willmar Senior High School, including Akerson’s classroom, Akerson’s home, the girl’s home and in Akerson’s vehicle in different locations in Kandiyohi County, the complaint states.
This pattern of sex allegedly continued through the time the girl turned 18 in the summer of 2012.
The complaint says the relationship continued after Akerson left Willmar in the fall of 2012 and up until this past October, but the criminal charges reference dates between fall of 2009 and summer of 2012.