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Charges: Cooper High School Employee Sexually Assaulted Student

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 41-year-old Minneapolis man who was an employee at Robbinsdale Cooper High School is accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old student there, according to charges filed Tuesday by the Hennepin County Attorney.

Tajreed Edward Rich was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the incident, which happened between May and June 7.

According to the charges, Robbinsdale Police were called to a residence on Friday, June 7, on a report of a sexual assault. When authorities arrived, they learned that the father of a 17-year-old girl had come home unexpectedly at about 3 p.m. that day. The man heard noises from the victim’s bedroom and went upstairs.

The door to the victim’s room was open, and the girl was lying naked on her bed, the complaint states. A man later identified as Rich was also naked and standing over the girl. The victim’s father told police he recognized Rich as a man who worked at Cooper High School.

The girl told police she had had sex with Rich on two occasions, once a couple weeks back and the most recent on June 7. The victim’s father walked into the room shortly after the two finished having sex, according to the complaint.

Officers later learned Rich was a hall monitor at Cooper High School, and was on the coaching staff of the football team. The victim was a student at Cooper High School, the complaint states.

Rich admitted to police in an interview that he engaged in sexual activity with the victim on at least two occasions. He also described the victim to police as a “vulnerable student” and said he knew better than to have a sexual relationship with her.

If convicted, Rich faces up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.