A 24-year-old middle school teacher and coach in Minnesota could face nearly two decades in prison after allegedly grooming and repeatedly sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student, according to authorities.
Lindsey Rose Schneeberger was arraigned Friday on three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct with a child under 14 by a person in a position of authority in the first degree, the Post Bulletin reported. The charges alleged that penetration occurred.
She was ordered held on a $75,000 conditional bail or bond following her arrest by the Rochester Police Department for allegedly sexually assaulting the minor girl at Schneeberger’s home in Rochester, Minnesota.
Schneeberger was a former volleyball coach and physical education teacher at Pine Island Middle School, where she allegedly met and groomed the then-13-year-old girl.
Her arrest came after a family member of the young victim reported to police earlier this month that they found concerning text messages on the girl’s phone that were exchanged between the teen and the teacher.
Schneeberger also allegedly sent nude photos of herself to the student.
The teenager told law enforcement during an interview that Schneeberger allegedly groomed her for several months starting in August 2022. The girl also said that starting in March, the teacher allegedly sexually assaulted her, almost weekly for a period of time.
The sexual assaults allegedly took place between March 1 and May 15. The abuse allegedly continued even after the school started investigating Schneeberger for an undisclosed reason.
Pine Island Public School Superintendent Tamara Champa said Schneeberger was placed on leave on March 6 due to an investigation but declined to say what the probe was about.
“Any time we have any concern about students, we are going to react swiftly, always, and always make sure that students are at the forefront of every decision we make,” Champa stated.
After resigning from Pine Island Public School District on March 16, Schneeberger is now employed by the Byron Public School District, according to a statement from Byron Public Schools Superintendent Mike Neubeck to Post Bulletin.
The school district reportedly only learned about Schneeberger’s charges after her arraignment Friday.
Neubeck said that there have been no allegations involving students of his district and that Schneeberger is not scheduled to work and will not have access to students.
“Further information regarding her employment is private personnel data at this point in time. There is nothing more important than the safety, security and well-being of our students and, while privacy laws do not allow us to discuss all of the actions that have been taken, please understand that the District immediately responded to the information received today. If you have any information related to this matter, you are urged to contact the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Department,” Neubeck said in the statement.
Schneeberger could face up to 19 years in prison if she is convicted on all three counts.
As part of the conditions of her bail, she was ordered not to have any unsupervised contact with minors and to hold no position of authority over minors.
Schneeberger’s next court appearance is scheduled for June 8.
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