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Nikiski school music teacher charged with sex abuse of minor

Megan Edge

Nikiski Middle-High School music teacher Jeremy Anderson has been charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly maintaining a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old student for four months, beginning in February, according to an affidavit filed Thursday. Although the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District would not confirm Anderson's involvement in the alleged crime, they did say he is on administrative leave and that Thursday, when an investigation began, the joint middle-high school, along with Nikiski North Star Elementary, went into "precautionary lockdown." At the time, Anderson's whereabouts were unknown and he was reportedly suicidal, according to Alaska State Troopers.

Anderson, 36, has taught music at the school -- which serves students in grades 6 through 12 -- since August 2012. On Thursday, a female student told another teacher that she and Anderson had been sexually involved multiple times since February and most recently engaged in sexual acts May 6, according to an affidavit filed in Kenai on May 8.

The allegations sparked an internal investigation, which school district spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff said is a "very confidential process." The case was turned over to the Alaska State Troopers by noon the same day the incident was reported.

Anderson, who was put on administrative leave, left the school before troopers arrived. He threatened to commit suicide by swallowing sleeping pills and alcohol. His unknown whereabouts prompted a manhunt until Friday, when troopers found him in his vehicle around Mile 15 of the Kenai Spur Highway. He was transported to a local hospital.

Megan Peters, an Alaska State Troopers spokesperson, would not confirm whether Anderson was still hospitalized Monday morning, but said he was not in custody. A warrant has been issued for his arrest.

Court documents claim that Anderson admitted to his wife by telephone that he'd had a relationship with one of his students. Anderson's wife told investigators that after her husband admitted to the alleged crime, he told her "he was going to a place where no one could find him and commit suicide."

Anderson was part of an investigation nearly a year ago when troopers received reports on July 2, 2013 of the teacher having "inappropriate conversations" with the same student. According to court records, the investigator found that no crime had been committed.

The school district has been in touch with parents since the investigation began, said Erkeneff, who added that students have a "great support system" at the school.

Reach Megan Edge at megan@alaskadispatch.com or 257-4200.

 


By MEGAN EDGE
megan@alaskadispatch.com