Eastern Iowa Teacher Charged for Sexual Exploitation
Adam Hildebrandt, previously a science teacher at Center Point-Urbana Middle School has been charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee.
According to KCRG, prosecutors claim that he "sent multiple social media messages of a sexual nature to a 13-year-old student in June of 2021. The Linn County Sherriff’s Office said it began investigating the teacher while he was still employed with the Center Point-Urbana Community School District."
Investigation into the situation began in Ocotber of last year, and the district allowed Hildebrandt to resign in December 2021.
When the initial report came out from KCRG, their investigators "found school districts and other public employers commonly allow staff members under investigation to resign rather than face the termination process. This practice hides allegations from future employers and allows the employee to receive a similar job in the future. The charges filed Thursday would likely appear on background checks in the future."
The site adds this in regards to court documents that were obtained: "Hildebrandt followed the student on Instagram and began sending messages about her body, eyes, smile, feelings of intimacy and acknowledged the messages could be considered inappropriate. Hildebrandt has pled not guilty and was released today as long as he follows the law and has no contract with the student."
The prosecutors, in this case, add that the 13-year-old student says Hildebrandt "touched her hair, her back, and began giving her hugs after she confided in him about some personal issues during the 2020-21 school year."
Matthew Berninghaus, superintendent for the Center Point-Urbana School District, said this when he was asked about the case at hand:
In the event the school district were to submit a notification to the Iowa Board of Educational Examiners, it would be considered confidential.
He refused any additional comment.
According to McCarthy & Hamrock Professional Corporation, "A school employee who commits sexual exploitation in violation of Iowa Code section 709.15(5)(a) commits a class 'D' felony. A school employee who commits sexual exploitation in violation of Iowa Code section 709.15(5)(b) commits an aggravated misdemeanor."
Should Hildebrandt be charged with the class "D" felony, Criminal Defense Lawyer says "A class 'D' felony, the least serious type of felony in Iowa, is normally punishable by up to five years' imprisonment and a fine of between $750 and $7,500." It adds that aggravated misdemeanors "are the most serious class of misdemeanors, generally punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of between $625 and $6,250."