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Associated Press, Published February 15 2012

Teacher disputes criminal sexual conduct charge

ST. PAUL (AP) — A former Elk River high school teacher accused of having sex with an underage student says he's innocent of criminal charges because their affair happened during the summer when he wasn't in a position of authority over her.

Thirty-six-year-old Matthew Ellsworth is on trial in Ramsey County District Court for criminal sexual conduct. Defense attorney Allan Kaplan argues Ellsworth had no intention of returning to the high school when the relationship took place. Ellsworth was the girl's English teacher at Spectrum High School in the spring of 2011. Ellsworth says his relationship with the girl happened last summer.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press says the girl testified she and Ellsworth still want to be together.

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Information from: St. Paul Pioneer Press, http://www.twincities.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.