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Kevin Bonham, Forum News Service, Published November 25 2013

Park River, N.D., teacher charged with sex crime with teen

PARK RIVER, N.D. - A Park River teacher has been charged with two counts of corruption or solicitation of a minor in a case involving a 16-year-old student at Park River High School, according to the Walsh County Sheriff’s Department.

Justin Dean Kiefer, 25, was jailed Monday in the Walsh County Correctional Center in Grafton, N.D. Bail has been set at $25,000 cash or surety bond, according to a news release from the sheriff’s department.

According to the criminal complaint, Kiefer allegedly engaged in sexual intercourse with a girl who was 16 years old at the time of the offenses, which occurred on or about Nov. 8 and Nov. 16, in the city of Park River.

Each charge, a Class C felony, is punishable by up to five years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.

The teacher and student allegedly had a sexual relationship, according to Walsh County Sheriff Lauren Wild.

“It was brought to our attention by the parents on Friday,” he said.

Kiefer, a South Dakota native, was hired this year as a fifth-grade teacher in Park River, according to Superintendent Kirk Hamm. He had been living in Fargo prior to moving to Park River.

Kiefer, who remained in jail Monday afternoon, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the case, according to the superintendent.

The Walsh County Sheriff’s Department and North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation are cooperating in the investigation.