Editor’s note: This breaking news story will be updated as we receive more information. Check back for updates.
The Alaska State Troopers have arrested former Nikiski Middle-High School music teacher Jeremy Anderson, 36, on seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor.
Anderson was arrested Thursday by troopers who were assisted by the Anchorage Police Department. He is currently being held with no bail, pending arraignments.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Anchorage, according to court documents.
First degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony and, if Anderson is convicted, he faces up to $500,000 in fines and 99 years in prison per charge.
Trooper spokesperson Megan Peters wrote in an email that Anderson was arrested after being released from an Anchorage hospital — he was taken to the Anchorage jail.
The charges against Anderson stem from a May 8 call to state troopers regarding a suicidal male and allegations that Anderson had been sexually intimate with a female student.
According to charging documents, Anderson is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old student on at least seven occasions between February and May 2014.
Anderson, who has been with the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District since Aug. 14, 2012, was investigated by state troopers for having inappropriate conversations with the same student 11 months after he began teaching in the district.
According to an affidavit filed by trooper investigator Jack LeBlanc, Anderson acknowledged at the time that he had been communicating with the student outside of school and that their conversations could “raise some concerns.”
The school district was aware of those allegations and the investigation that took place, according to a May email from Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff.
Anderson continued as a music teacher in Nikiski and the student was in one of his classes at the high school before she told another teacher that she had been having sex with Anderson, according to charging documents.
Erkeneff wrote in a May email that the school district had a record of how long the student had been in Anderson’s class, but cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, or FERPA, as a reason for not providing the information to the Clarion.
Anderson was placed on administrative leave, or paid suspension, by the school district after the allegations surfaced.
As of Friday, Anderson is still on administrative leave, Erkeneff said.
He is no longer listed in the school district’s employee directory but Erkeneff said the directory was a list of “active email accounts,” and Anderson’s email and access to other accounts was deactivated when he was placed on leave.
It is unclear when the employment status of Anderson, who currently draws a $52,576 salary from the district, will change — if at all.
Erkeneff said his employment status was a human resources investigation and the school district was working with law enforcement, looking into labor laws and trying to ensure that Anderson gets due process.