Fertile, Minn., Educator Charged with Sex Crime with Student; Attorney Says Woman is VictimA married teaching aide in the Fertile-Beltrami (Minn.) High School charged with criminal sexual conduct with a male student said today through her attorney she actually is the victim in the situation.
By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald
A married teaching aide in the Fertile-Beltrami (Minn.) High School charged with criminal sexual conduct with a male student said today through her attorney she actually is the victim in the situation.
Terina Ann Parr, 44, has been a paraprofessional in the school, and “has lived many years in the community,” said her attorney, Blair Nelson, of Bemidji.
She was arrested March 8, a day after the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received a report from the school “regarding potential inappropriate behavior between a 17-year-old male student and a paraprofessional,” according to a news release today from the sheriff’s office.
Parr appeared in state district court in Crookston March 13 on a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Parr, reached at her Fertile home today, directed all comments to her attorney, including whether she still works for the school.
School officials directed all questions on Parr to Superintendent Brian Clarke, who wasn’t immediately available.
Parr does not appear on the school’s website under the faculty directory along with other paraprofessionals.
Her attorney, Nelson, said today he wasn’t certain about the details of her employment status with the school district. But he said Parr “will contest the charge vigorously.”
The pertinent part of the statute for that charge is when the alleged victim is at least 16 but younger than 18 and the accused is in a position of authority over the alleged victim, he said.
The maximum sentence is 10 years, but there are several reasons that such a charge could result in a stayed sentence, according to state law.
“We believe once the evidence comes out in this case, it will turn out Mrs. Parr was the victim of sexual misconduct by the student in this case,”
Nelson told the Herald today. “She is being charged due to her employment situation, because she is an employee of the school involved in an accusation by a student, who actually was the perpetrator in this case.”
Parr is scheduled to appear in court again Monday for a “Rule 8,” hearing, an arraignment at which an omnibus hearing will be scheduled, Nelson said.
She will not be able to formally enter a not-guilty plea until that omnibus hearing later this spring, Nelson said.
Parr has “a clean criminal record and has the full support of her family and friends,” Nelson said.
“The wrong person was charged in this case,” Nelson said. “We have a situation where there is a troubled but manipulative student and this is one of those cases where we urge everyone not to rush to judgment because there is a lot more to this story to come out.”