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Fargo high school teacher accused of sex with student, charged with 2 felonies

Sebastian Tackling, a band teacher at Fargo South High School, is charged with corruption of a minor in relation to an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Sebastian Michael Tackling.
Sebastian Michael Tackling.
Cass County Jail photo
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FARGO — A band teacher at Fargo South High School faces two felony charges linked to an alleged sexual relationship with a student.

Sebastian Michael Tackling, 43, was charged Monday, Nov. 28, with corruption of a minor and possession of prohibited materials relating to photos and videos that included sexual conduct by a minor, both Class C felonies, according to Cass County District Court records.

Tackling, wearing an orange jumpsuit and handcuffs, appeared in court via video from the county jail, where he was booked after his arrest on Saturday.

Judge Reid Brady set bail at $10,000 cash or bond, and ordered Tackling not to have any contact with the alleged victim in the case.

When asked if he’d like to have a public defender assigned to him Tackling said yes, given the nature of the charges.

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“I’m a teacher,” he said, adding that he was "pretty sure" he would no longer be employed by the Fargo School District.

According to court documents, the case came to light on Saturday when police were called to a Fargo home. The call came from a person described as a close family friend of the alleged victim, court documents said.

The alleged victim told police she had a relationship with Tackling during her junior and senior years at South High School, while he was her band teacher, according to court documents.

Court documents indicate the sexual contact occurred between Oct. 1, 2021, and June 1, 2022, when the alleged victim was 17 and 18.

The incidents happened twice at Tackling’s home, once at a basketball court outside Lewis and Clark Elementary School and once in his office at South High, and included intercourse and oral sex, court documents said.

The possession of prohibited materials charge has to do with naked photos and video sent between Tackling and the alleged victim, with some of those exchanges happening at school, court documents said.

Tackling voluntarily went to the police department to be interviewed, at which time he acknowledged having an inappropriate relationship with a former student, but denied sexual conduct or contact, court documents said.

During the interview, Tackling acknowledged exchanging sexually explicit photos and videos by text but said “in real life,” the two talked about music and he helped her with homework, court documents said.

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According to court documents, Tackling said “I was drawn to her” when asked about the alleged victim, adding that he knew a sexual relationship with a student was not OK.

Fargo Public Schools administrators learned of the allegation against Tackling on Sunday, said school district spokeswoman AnnMarie Campbell.

District leaders met and placed Tackling on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Campbell said in a statement.

The Forum submitted a request to jail administration seeking comment from Tackling but he declined an interview.

His next court appearance is Wednesday, Jan. 4.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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