Dakota Co. Att’y Investigating St. Paul School District

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — The Dakota County attorney’s office is looking into whether St. Paul school district staffers broke the law by not reporting allegations against a custodian now charged with sexual misconduct.

Walter Happel is accused of peeking at an 11-year-old boy in a bathroom at Linwood Monre Arts Plus school in February. The 62-year-old faces eight sets of sexual misconduct charges.

The district investigated in 2012, when a student complained the custodian slapped him on the buttocks. The district concluded it was not child maltreatment and did not contact police. Weeks earlier, though, a police officer had checked on a different complaint against Happel.

The district says it didn’t contact police because an internal investigation did not deem the alleged 2012 incident to be abuse.

In a written statement last month, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi says he will hold Happel accountable for his crimes, and keep him away from children.

“He has preyed on the innocence of children for over 30 years,” Choi said.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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