An English teacher at North Dakota’s West Fargo High School is facing five felony counts of Corruption or Solicitation of a Minor related to an alleged incident involving a 17-year-old student.
According to a criminal complaint filed by prosecutors, West Fargo teacher Aaron Knodel allegedly engaged in sexual acts with a former female student, once at his residence, and another inside his car. The alleged incident occurred five years ago, although charges are just now being made.
Knodel was named “Teacher of The Year” for the entire state of North Dakota last September, which is pretty impressive considering there are over 8,000 teachers throughout the state.
“We were informed today that a complaint had been filed today in Cass County District Court against Aaron Knodel,” said West Fargo Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Flowers. During a later press conference, Dr. Flowers went on to say that he recommends Knodel be placed on suspension without pay until the case is decided.
But Knodel’s attorney Robert Hoy fired back at the allegations, saying his client is a “husband, father and highly regarded high school teacher.” Hoy also stresses the fact that the allegations against his client involve alleged incidents from five years ago.
“I don’t know why such allegations would arise now, but the passage of time makes it much more difficult for Aaron to defend himself,” said Robert Hoy, Knodel’s defense attorney. “So, until we can have an opportunity to present this case to a jury, I ask that prospective jurors keep an open mind and reserve judgment, despite the salacious allegations that have been made.”
“Aaron Knodel is a husband, father and highly regarded high school teacher,” Hoy said. “He has been a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of students. As you can imagine, being charged with a crime is a devastating experience, which will impact him and his family forever.”
In addition to teaching English at the West Fargo High School, Knodel also coaches for the debate team and speech class. According to a press release, Knodel served as the lead negotiator for the West Fargo Education Association. He’s a highly esteemed teacher who many people view as one of the county’s leading educators. Perhaps this is why news of Knodel’s charges have created so much controversy and commotion in the otherwise quaint town of West Fargo, North Dakota.