A Minnesota sheriff’s deputy has been charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl at the high school where he worked in security and athletics.
Neil Dolan, 31, a deputy with the Clearwater County Sheriff’s Office, was charged last week with multiple counts of criminal sexual conduct after the ninth-grader told investigators that they had sex inside his Bagley High School office on June 1, 2017, the last day of the term, according to the statement of probable cause obtained by Oxygen.com.
The incident allegedly occurred while Dolan was serving as a school resource officer and assistant football coach, according to The Bemidji Pioneer.
The alleged encounter involved "sexual penetration" and took place while Dolan, who was 29 at the time, was in uniform and carrying his service revolver, state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension investigators detailed in the court document.
Dolan was placed on administrative leave from his school resource officer duties once he was formally charged with the felonies, according to MPR News.
The allegations against Dolan have roiled the tight-knit community.
When Kim Bennett, whose daughter attends Bagley High School, learned about Dolan’s alleged sexual misconduct, the mother recalled how he was a popular figure who routinely high-fived students.
“I hope they aren't true,” Bennett told The Bemidji Pioneer. "But if they are, he is, unfortunately, going to pay the consequences."
Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson, who referred the complaint to BCA investigators on Nov. 19, also said that the fallout in town has been intense.
“I’ve talked with school officials and nobody had red flags; this came out of nowhere,” Halverson told The Bemidji Pioneer. “A lot of people had him at their family functions. … That’s why it is tearing the community apart.”
The scandalous accusations appeared to be the first in Dolan’s almost decade-long tenure with the sheriff's office, Halverson added.
Dolan remains free after posting bond, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported.
He is expected to return to court on Dec. 2 to answer the charges.
If convicted on both counts of criminal sexual conduct, Dolan could be sentenced to up to 45 years in prison.
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