Duluth music teacher cornered preteen student and molested her: Report

News & Politics

A Duluth man who teaches music at a charter school has been arrested and charged after cornering a preteen girl in a stairwell and molesting her, according to the Star Tribune.

John P. Horgeshimer, 48, originally from Hermantown, faces first- and second-degree criminal charges of criminal sexual conduct in connection with the assault that took place at Duluth Edison’s Raleigh Academy on March 5. The charges were brought on Thursday in St. Louis County District Court.

Horgeshimer was arrested on Monday and continues to remain in jail instead of paying the $75,000 bail. The report mentioned that he is due back in court on April 9. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Horgeshimer was reportedly hired in August after proceeding through a background check. Tammy Rackliffe, head of schools for Duluth Edison, said Horgeshimer was put on administrative leave following the incident. He has since resigned, according to the report.

The Brainerd Dispatch reported that the preteen victim was in the school building for an early morning program where she read to younger students. After leaving to retrieve an eraser, she ran into Horgeshimer in the stairwell.

The girl reported that Horgeshimer began touching her while “mumbling or moaning,” according to the report. She went on to demonstrate how he used a “massage-life motion” and said he pinched her, which caused her pain.

The victim told the forensic interviewer that she froze, as there was no one else in the area to witness what happened. She said that she slapped his hand away and managed to escape even though Horgeshimer stepped on her toes, making it difficult.

She initially ran into the bathroom, but soon realized it would be safer to go to her classroom.

The girl ultimately went to the principal’s office to report the assault, naming Horgeshimer as the perpetrator of the incident.

Rackliffe sent out a message to families and staff, writing: “It is with a heavy heart that we reach out to you today to inform you about a recent and unfortunate development within our Raleigh school community. We have been made aware of criminal charges against one of our staff members. We want to assure you that the safety and well-being of our students is our utmost priority.”

It is not clear how long Horgeshimer could spend behind bars if he is found guilty of the charges.

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