Former Nikiski teacher faces several new charges in sexual abuse case

  • By Rashah McChesney
  • Monday, November 24, 2014 10:23pm
  • News

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Jeremy Anderson is accused of sexual abuse of a minor, not assault. 

A former Nikiski Middle-High School music teacher faces several new counts of sexual abuse after accusations surfaced in May that he had an ongoing sexual relationship with one of his female students.

Jeremy T. Anderson, 37, will be arraigned in Kenai Superior Court Tuesday. He is alleged to have abused a then 15-year-old minor several times over a six-month period than ended in May of 2014. Anderson faces 16 counts of sexual abuse in varying degrees.

The indictment documents an extensive timeline of the alleged physical encounters between Anderson, a married father, and the girl. Alaska State Troopers say those encounters began in late 2013 with Anderson fondling the girl in the school’s choir and band rooms, according to court documents.

The alleged incidents escalated and Anderson is charged with having sex with the girl repeatedly in 2014, until she told another teacher about the relationship, according to court documents.

The relationship between the two may have begun much earlier than what is indicated in the current charges.

Anderson was investigated 11 months after he arrived in the school district after troopers received reports on July 2, 2013 that he had been having “inappropriate conversations” with the same student, according to court documents.

He said at the time that he had been communicating with the victim outside of school and that their conversations could “raise some concerns,” according to an affidavit filed by trooper investigator Jack LeBlanc.

The school district was aware of the allegations and the investigation that took place, according to a May email from Kenai Peninsula Borough District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff.

Anderson, who has been with the school district since Sept. 2012, was rehired in May of 2013 and again recommended for rehire in April of 2014, well after the original investigation into his behavior had begun and less than a month before the new charges were levied, according to KPBSD records.

Despite the allegations, Anderson continued as a music teacher at the combined middle school and high school and the girl was placed in one of his classes.

The school district has a record of how long the girl had been in Anderson’s class, however Erkeneff cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 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. Anderson is no longer employed by the district, according to an August email from Erkeneff.

The original investigation into inappropriate conversations between Anderson and the girl did not result in charges, however the Department of Public Safety in May denied a freedom of information act request, on the grounds that the case was still open.

The current charges stem from a May 8 call to troopers regarding suicidal male and allegations that Anderson had been sexually assaulting a female student.

The victim told another teacher that she had been having sex with Anderson and the incident was relayed to troopers who arrived at the school two hours later to investigate, according to court documents.

However, Anderson had already left.

Sometime in the late afternoon that day, Anderson called his wife and told her that he had slept with a student and would go to a place where no one could find him and commit suicide, according to a trooper affidavit.

The school was put in a precautionary lockdown mode, as was the nearby Nikiski North Star Elementary School. After a manhunt, Anderson was found by troopers the next day at Mile 15 of the Kenai Spur Highway.

It is unclear exactly what troopers found, but troopers called an ambulance because of his injuries. At the time, trooper spokesperson Megan Peters wrote in an email that Anderson was recovering from life-threatening wounds.

When he was released from the hospital, he was arrested by troopers and held without bail, pending arraignment. He was initially charged with seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

For the last several months, Anderson has appeared telephonically from Anchorage at hearings on his case in Kenai.

The new arraignment contains seven more charges of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor and two charges of second-degree abuse of a minor.

First-degree sexual abuse of a minor is an unclassified felony. If Anderson is convicted, he faces up to $500,000 in fines and 99 years in prison for each charge. Second-degree sexual abuse of a minor carries a punishment of up to 99 years in prison, with a presumptive range of 5-15 years..

 

Reach Rashah McChesney at rashah.mcchesney@peninsulaclarion.com.

More in News

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Kenai Police Department Chief David Ross explains the purpose of a grant to be used for new radios during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Police to update radios using grant money

The department received almost $260,000 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Democratic Party candidate for governor Les Gara attends a Zoom meeting with Homer residents on Nov. 18, 2021, from his Anchorage, Alaska, home. (Screen capture)
Gara makes election pitch to Homer

Democratic Party candidate for governor Gara visits virtually.

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979. The man’s body was discovered on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo/Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in 1980s ID’d through DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID continues decline; 1 new death

The state had an estimated rolling average of 253.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Census reports minimal state population growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

The old Homer intermediate school building, showing the Homer Boys & Girls Club and gym on the south side of the building at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue.
The old Homer intermediate school building on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue, as seen in October 2010. It’s now known as the Homer Educational and Recreational Complex, or HERC. (Homer News file photo)
Homer awards contract to study use of rec complex site

The goal is to help the city understand the maximum use of that property.

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Most Read