Third former Shattuck teacher involved in alleged sexual misconduct - Faribault MN: News

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Third former Shattuck teacher involved in alleged sexual misconduct

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 4:53 pm | Updated: 2:05 pm, Wed Apr 3, 2013.

A third former Shattuck-St. Mary’s teacher has been implicated in a sex scandal at the school.

A 63-year-old St. Paul man has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor after police say he engaged in a sex act with a student while he was a teacher at Shattuck in 1980.

Joseph Carl Machlitt was charged Wednesday with third-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree attempted criminal sexual conduct. He taught at Shattuck as an art and photography teacher, as well as a dorm parent, from 1976 to 1980.

“Like anyone, we’re appalled by the alleged actions, which the school learned of for the first time today, involving a former employee who left the school in 1980,” said Shattuck spokesman Jon Austin, of the J. Austin Group. “The behavior described in the complaint is offensive, wrong and violates our code of conduct. We will continue to work with the Faribault Police Department to assist in their investigation and we encourage anyone with information about such matters to come forward.”

According to the criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court on Wednesday, the victim, who in the summer of 1980 was 14 years old, was a student at Shattuck who injured himself while swimming.

Machlitt took the young man to District One Hospital and volunteered to care for the victim upon his return to Shattuck’s dorms. The victim said he fell asleep while on the couch in Machlitt’s apartment and awoke to find Machlitt massaging his legs. Machlitt then performed oral sex on the youth, according to the complaint.

On a second occasion that same summer, the victim said Machlitt touched him inappropriately but not sexually, and on a third occasion attempted to touch him sexually, but stopped when the victim pushed him away, according to the complaint.

The now 46-year-old victim came forward after seeing news reports and social media network information about the charges against former S-SM drama teacher Lynn Seibel, said former Faribault Interim Police Chief Don Gudmundson in a press release issued Wednesday.

Gudmundson said that police believe Shattuck officials were not aware of the alleged abuse at the time of the incidents.

Machlitt’s wife, Wendelyn, said early Wednesday afternoon that she was not aware of the charges filed against her husband, and had not seen the criminal complaint. She said she’d placed a call to an attorney but had not yet heard from him.

Third District Judge John Cajacob set bail for Machlitt at $50,000 with conditions that he have no contact with the victim in the case, nor any unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18.

Assistant Rice County Attorney Nate Reitz, who is prosecuting the case, told Cajacob that Machlitt was on suicide watch Tuesday night. Reitz said he was concerned that if Machlitt were released he would not re-appear in court and could hurt himself. Machlitt responded by telling Cajacob that he could abide by the conditions of release.

“As for what [Reitz] said about suicide, I’m just at a point of depression,” Machlitt said. “I’m realizing the impact of this.”

Machlitt, who according to his Google profile is a tutor employed by A Plus Tutoring Services, faces a maximum of 10 years in prison if convicted on the most serious charge.

Representatives from A Plus did not return a call Wednesday afternoon seeking comment.

The charges come six weeks after former S-SM Theater Department Chair Lynn Phillip Seibel was charged for his alleged role as host of private masturbation sessions with six male students at the school.

Seibel, now 70, worked at S-SM from 1992 to 2003 and served as a dorm parent for many of those years.

The alleged incidents, which occurred as long as 15 years ago, all happened on S-SM grounds — either in a closed classroom setting or in the dormitories.

Faribault Police are still investigating the Seibel case. Meanwhile Seibel remains in custody at the Los Angeles Jail and is set to appear in court next week on one count of possession of child porn.

Days after the Seibel charges were filed, Faribault Police released information about an investigation into the 2008 death of a S-SM faculty member who committed suicide on campus shortly after school officials confronted him about an inappropriate relationship with a student.

Len Jones, who spent time as a history teacher, department chair and lacrosse coach at S-SM, was found to have had a sexual relationship with a foreign student for three years beginning when she was 15, according to police records.

Reach reporter Rebecca Rodenborg at 333-3128, or follow her on @FDNRebecca

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