Ex-teacher accused of grooming a student, pleads guilty to child endangerment

(Daily Caller) – A former Minnesota teacher is pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of endangering a child after being accused of grooming a student, according to Fox 29.

A former teacher at Eden Prairie High School, 51-year-old Craig Hollenbeck, messaged a student about his “undeniable” feelings during the 2020-2021 school year, which experts told investigators was grooming, according to Fox 29. Hollenbeck is pleading guilty to a charge of endangering a child, which could result in a maximum sentence of 30 days in jail with two years of supervised probation.

Hollenbeck was first charged with one count of endangering a child in October after an investigation found that Hollenbeck was allegedly texting a student that he had fallen in love with her, Fox 29 reported. Hollenbeck would allegedly FaceTime the student and lock the classroom door while they were alone.

The relationship lasted four month during which Hollenbeck told the student his feelings for her were “undeniable,” Fox 29 reported. Hollenbeck did not face any sexual misconduct charges but experts deemed Hollenback’s actions as grooming, saying the relationship had the potential to “cause substantial harm” to the “emotional or mental health” of the student, leading to an endangering a child charge.

Former students of Hollenbeck’s said the teacher would message students on social media and text them after school, Fox 29 reported. Hollenbeck resigned from his position at the school in September 2021.

Eden Prairie High School and the Eden Prairie Police Department did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.