LP-A basketball coaches under police investigation after girls allege sexual contactThe coaches of the girls’ basketball team in Lake Park-Audubon, Minn., submitted their resignations after a pair of 17-year-old players raised allegations of criminal sexual conduct that are under police investigation.
By: Dave Roepke and Amy Dalrymple / Forum staff writers, INFORUM
The coaches of the girls’ basketball team in Lake Park-Audubon, Minn., submitted their resignations after a pair of 17-year-old players raised allegations of criminal sexual conduct that are under police investigation.
A report issued by the St. Cloud (Minn.) Police Department on Thursday said the department is investigating allegations of sexual contact between two female students and two teachers/coaches from the Lake Park-Audubon district.
St. Cloud police Sgt. Martin Sayre said he couldn’t specify what sort of sexual contact was alleged.
Head girls basketball coach Andrew Schwan and assistant coach Darrin Myhre resigned after being placed on administrative leave Friday, LP-A Superintendent Dale Hogie told The Forum on Wednesday.
The allegations police are investigating were said to have occurred on Dec. 28 at the St. Cloud Holiday Inn while the team was staying there during a tournament, according to the St. Cloud police report. The basketball team played in a tournament on Dec. 28 and 29 in Upsala, which is 40 minutes from St. Cloud.
A phone message left on Myhre’s cell phone was not returned. A Forum reporter knocked on Myhre’s door Thursday, but there was no answer. A phone message left at Schwan’s home was not returned.
No arrests have been made, and no charges have been filed. There were no search warrants naming either coach filed in Becker County or Stearns County, where St. Cloud is located.
Hogie said he received a resignation letter from Myhre on Monday and a resignation letter from Schwan on Tuesday. The Forum requested copies of the letters, but Hogie said they weren’t public record.
Sayre said a player’s parent called in the complaint to St. Cloud police on Monday at 12:39 p.m.
St. Cloud police were in the LP-A area interviewing witnesses Wednesday and were still there Thursday, Sayre said. The interviews could take a week, he said, and the investigation is “still really in that preliminary process.”
Sayre said he had not heard from investigators if alcohol was involved in the incident.
“It’s really not a major factor in the investigation,” he said.
Both coaches also teach grades seven through 12 in the district. Schwan taught social studies and Myrhe taught business.
Hogie said he could not elaborate on allegations the two girls raised. Athletic director Jed Swegarden referred questions to Hogie. The Forum also contacted parents of several basketball players, but they declined to comment.
Schwan had been the LP-A head coach since 2002. The school’s Web site lists Schwan as the co-athletic director and an assistant head football coach. Myrhe was listed as the LP-A head baseball coach.
Darrel Pederson will serve as the head coach for the season’s duration, and Coral Lunde will be the assistant coach.
An attorney who represents the district also is investigating the allegations, Hogie said.
Being convicted of felony sexual contact, or of child pornography charges, leads to an automatic revocation of a teacher’s license in Minnesota, said Nancy Triplett, teacher ethics specialist with the state’s Board of Teaching.
The teaching board typically waits until a criminal charge is resolved before taking up a disciplinary matter, Triplett said. Both Schwan and Myrhe have Minnesota teaching licenses, she said.
A teacher and ex-coach from LP-A resigned in 2008 after a 15-year-old female student accused him of having sex with her in 2005. The teacher, Jared Sanborn, was acquitted of criminal sexual conduct charges in June 2009 after a three-day trial in Becker County District Court.
Forum reporter Kerry Collins contributed to this report.
Readers can reach Forum reporters Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535 and
Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590