Former RC teacher pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct

Jon Michael Hughes

Jon Michael Hughes, 57, of Pine City, a former teacher in the Rush City School District, pleaded guilty to fourth degree criminal sexual conduct June 5 and was sentenced Aug. 22.
The charge to which Hughes admitted his guilt — engaging in sexual penetration with a person between 16 and 18 years of age, while being at least 48 months older than the victim and holding a position of authority over the victim — was related to his sexual abuse of a student at Rush City High School in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
“(Hughes) was placed on probation for five years and received a stay of adjudication, meaning successful completion of probation will result in the sentence being reduced to a misdemeanor,” Chisago County Attorney Janet Reiter wrote in an email. “As conditions of his probation, Hughes is required to abstain from alcohol and controlled substances and submit to random testing; is prohibited from holding a position of authority over any minor females under age 18; (he must) submit DNA; engage in individual therapy; obtain permission from supervising agent before leaving the state and comply with other conditions of probation.”
According to the criminal complaint:
On Dec. 11, 2014, a Chisago County Sheriff’s Office sergeant received a report from a woman who was assaulted, which started the investigation of Hughes.
Hughes was employed as a teacher in 1984 until his resignation on Nov. 21, 2000.
On April 8, 2015, an investigator and a sergeant met with the victim and she reported the past abuse had come to light during a counseling session. She said in approximately 2000 she had given a statement to the Minnesota Board of Teaching about what occurred with Hughes. Correspondence she had received from him was also shared with the board at that time.
On Sept. 12, 2001, Hughes entered into a signed stipulation with the Minnesota Board of Teaching. Hughes was represented by counsel and acknowledged that while he was teaching in Rush City, he engaged in an inappropriate relationship with his former student. Hughes agreed to the revocation of his teaching license and said he would never apply for a teaching license again.
On June 28, 2016, a Chisago County Sheriff’s Office investigator spoke with former Rush City Superintendent Tim Eklund. Eklund recalled speaking with Hughes’ former student around the year 2000 and when she reported Hughes’ behavior. Eklund reported receiving several of the letters Hughes wrote to the student. Eklund told Hughes he would need to turn in his resignation or an investigation would be opened. Hughes did not confirm nor deny the allegations at this time.
Reiter said issues of restitution and whether Hughes will be subject to registration as a predatory offender are reserved until Oct. 9.

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