Update (Oct. 31, 2017): Kenneth Lee Sonnenfeld was acquitted of the second-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. Anoka-Hennepin Schools says he remains on administrative leave.
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 52-year-old Oak Grove man is accused of sexually assaulting a juvenile female student at a Blaine elementary school, according to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office says it received the report Tuesday that a juvenile female student accused a fourth-grade teacher at Johnsvile Elementary School.
After an investigation, deputies took the suspect, identified as Kenneth Lee Sonnenfeld, into custody. He faces a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Anoka County Sheriff’s Office Commander Paul Sommer said the girl, now 10, told investigators the alleged abuse took place between December 2014 and the Spring of 2015. She said Sonnenfeld would touch her inappropriately when she would go up to his desk to ask for help with math and science problems.
Court documents say the girl “decided to talk about what happened so that her chest and stomach wouldn’t hurt anymore.”
Sonnenfeld has been with the Anoka-Hennepin School District for 24 years. District officials told WCCO he had been placed on administrative leave. A statement Wednesday read:
“Kenneth Sonnenfeld, a fourth grade teacher at Johnsville Elementary in Blaine, is on administrative leave as the result of a complaint made to the district. The district immediately reported this complaint to law enforcement and appropriate agencies, and they’re currently investigating it. The district will also conduct an investigation and action may be taken as a result of those findings.”
Details of the complaint cannot be shared because of data privacy laws.
No one answered the door at Sonnenfeld’s home in Oak Grove. Neighbors declined to go on camera, but said they found the allegations absurd and said he was a good person.
He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.