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Charges dropped against Dilworth teacher accused of having sex with student

DILWORTH -- A Clay County prosecutor has dismissed felony charges against a former substitute teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old boy. Tara Nichols, 40, of Glyndon was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct i...

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Tara Michelle Nichols, 39, of Glyndon, Minn., faces two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct for engaging in sex with a student who was 17 at the time of the alleged conduct.
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DILWORTH - A Clay County prosecutor has dismissed felony charges against a former substitute teacher accused of having sex with a 17-year-old boy .

Tara Nichols, 40, of Glyndon was charged with two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct in March. But prosecutor Pam Harris said she dropped the charges Tuesday, Oct. 18, after learning that the boy had withdrawn from the school where Nichols worked before the two allegedly had sex.

Because Nichols was not in a position of authority over the boy and because the age of consent in Minnesota is 16 years old, no crime was committed, Harris said.
In January, a parent told authorities her son was receiving inappropriate messages and pictures from Nichols, who was then a substitute teacher in the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton School District, according to court papers.

During an investigation, several male students ages 17 and 18 reported they had either received messages from Nichols or had sexual contact with her, court papers said.
The investigation found that only one of the males was 17 years old. The boy claimed he had sex with Nichols on two separate occasions in fall 2015, court papers stated.

Superintendent Bryan Thygeson previously said Nichols began working for the district as a part-time paraprofessional in January 2013. She began working as a substitute instructor in late 2013 and continued in that capacity until January when she resigned after the allegations surfaced, he said.

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Attempts to reach Nichols' attorney, Lindsey Haugen, were unsuccessful on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Related Topics: EDUCATIONGLYNDON
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