Rice County judge sets bail at $100k for former Shattuck teacher accused of sexual misconduct - Faribault MN: News

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Rice County judge sets bail at $100k for former Shattuck teacher accused of sexual misconduct

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 4:00 pm | Updated: 11:34 am, Wed Aug 28, 2013.

Updated at 4:50 p.m. Tuesday:

The former Shattuck-St. Mary's drama teacher accused of criminal sexual misconduct was in the Rice County Jail on $100,000 bail as of Tuesday night, more than four months after 17 felony charges were filed against him.

Lynn Phillip Seibel, 71, appeared in court Tuesday morning with his defense attorney James Martin, who was appointed to the case earlier this month.

A bail evaluation was the focus of the hearing. Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster requested $1 million outright bail with a conditional bail amount of $750,000. Martin disputed Beaumaster's request, saying that his client has connections to Minnesota and is not a risk to public safety.

"These charges, although they have created a great deal of hysteria in the community, are 10 years old," Martin told Judge John Cajacob. "Mr. Seibel is 71 years old. He has health problems. He has connections to the state. He is not a risk to the public."

"The charges themselves are significant charges ... it would seem to me it serves no purpose other than to invoke a punishment before Mr. Seibel has the opportunity to address the charges, to set bail at the exorbitant amount Mr. Beaumaster has asked," Martin said.

Cajacob set outright bail at $200,000, though Seibel can be released on $100,000 bail on conditions that he have no contact with the victims in the case, no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, that he not leave the state and that he enters the pre-trial release supervision program.

If he posts bail, Seibel plans to stay with his son in the Maplewood area until he can find an apartment nearby to rent.

Criminal charges filed against Seibel on Oct. 8 include counts of allegedly using minors in pornographic work, possessing pornographic material on a work computer and more than 10 counts of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct with the victim being 15-17 and the perpetrator in a position of authority.

All 17 charges are felonies.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Seibel faces 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The fourth-degree criminal sex conduct charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Martin said in an interview after the hearing that he sees possible issues with the statute of limitations as well as the set venue of the case.

"My presumption is that he's innocent and that's something that goes with him throughout the trial, of course," Martin said. "We've seen the charges, but we haven't seen the evidence yet. I think one of the problems is, because of the publicity, people have their mind made up."

Seibel worked at S-SM from 1992 to 2003 and served as a dorm parent for many of those years. Investigation revealed that an allegation of sexual misconduct was made against Seibel in May 2001.

The allegations were investigated by the school and, according to a statement from S-SM officials in October, nothing was found. Still, they said they forwarded the allegations to the Rice County Department of Social Services and the Faribault Police Department. Officials from both departments say they haven't found any evidence of such reports. 

Don Gudmundson, who served as Faribault's interim police chief during the investigation, has publicly lambasted S-SM officials for not doing more to protect their students. 

It was the discovery of about 14,000 pornographic images and files on Seibel's work computer, according to court documents, that led to his release from the school in June 2003. S-SM officials have described the images as “pornographic material unrelated to our community,” though authorities classified a majority as illegal child pornography.

Seibel's final role was as theater department chair. 

Seibel faces charges in connection to the pornography, but the more serious charges involve him allegedly encouraging at least six male students to masturbate in front of him in secret sessions on campus during his time at S-SM. He is also accused of molesting two students. 

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.

On Tuesday afternoon, S-SM officials said they appreciate the work being done by law enforcement and the county.

"Today marks an important milestone in the effort to determine the facts of this case and to see that justice is done; in support of those goals, we will continue our work with law enforcement and continue to provide assistance as requested," an S-SM spokesperson said.

The Faribault Police Department opened its investigation in June after a man reported to an Olmsted Community Corrections employee that he had been assaulted by Seibel while a student at S-SM in 2001. The disclosure came as part of a pre-sentence investigation on an unrelated criminal sexual conduct case in which the victim was charged.

The FPD sent its detectives and officers, along with special agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, across the country to talk with former students who had relocated after attending S-SM. Since charges have been filed, officials involved in the investigation have said they believe there are more victims. 

Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen said investigators continued to travel to other states to talk with additional witnesses, victims and people of interest since charges were filed against Seibel in October. That information has been forwarded to the county attorney’s office, he said.

“Our stance has been, children are our greatest resource,” Bohlen said Tuesday afternoon. “If there was a child that was victimized, it’s our obligation as a police department to talk to them, to get the facts, and do our due diligence in making sure there is some resolution and these people are held accountable.”

Seibel faces no new charges at this time.

Seibel was arrested on Aug. 12 at his home in Long Beach, Calif., after Faribault and BCA officers searched his home and confiscated his computer. Several images of child pornography were found on Seibel's computer both during a quick forensic preview and followup forensic examination, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mark Beaart.

A single count of possession of child pornography was filed in Los Angeles County, but that charge was dropped earlier this month to allow for the Rice County case to be prosecuted, Beaart said. 

"I hope that justice is completely served in all respects," Beaart said of the case against Seibel on Monday afternoon.

Seibel was released Monday morning into the custody of the Rice County Sheriff's Office. His next court appearance is set for March 8.

---------

Shattuck-St. Mary's school officials released the following statement in response to former teacher Lynn Seibel's appearance in court this morning.

"We appreciate the work being done by the police and the county that has made today's development possible. Today marks an important milestone in the effort to determine the facts of this case and to see that justice is done; in support of those goals, we will continue our work with law enforcement and continue to provide assistance as requested."

---

 

Updated at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday with details from Lynn Seibel's appearance in Rice County District Court.

A Rice County judge set bail at $100,000 for the former Shattuck-St. Mary's drama teacher facing 17 felony sexual misconduct-related charges.

Lynn Phillip Seibel appeared in court Tuesday morning with his defense attorney James Martin, who was appointed to the case earlier this month.

A bail evaluation was the focus of the hearing. Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster requested $1 million outright bail with a conditional bail amount of $750,000. Martin disputed Beaumaster's request, saying that his client has connections to Minnesota and is not a risk to public safety.

"These charges, although they have created a great deal of hysteria in the community, are 10 years old," Martin told Judge John Cajacob. "Mr. Seibel is 71 years old. He has health problems. He has connections to the state. He is not a risk to the public."

"The charges themselves are significant charges ... it would seem to me it serves no purpose other than to invoke a punishment before Mr. Seibel has the opportunity to address the charges," Martin said.

Cajacob set outright bail at $200,000, though Seibel can be released on $100,000 bail on conditions that he have no contact with the victims in the case, no unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18, that he not leave the state and that he enters the pre-trial release supervision program.

Criminal charges filed against Seibel Oct. 8 include counts of allegedly using minors in pornographic work, possessing pornographic material on a work computer and more than 10 counts of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct with the victim being 15-17 and the perpetrator in a position of authority.

All 17 charges are felonies.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Seibel faces 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The fourth-degree criminal sex conduct charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Martin said in an interview after the hearing that he sees possible issues with the statute of limitations as well as the set venue of the case.

"My presumption is that he's innocent and that's something that goes with him throughout the trial of course," Martin said. "We've seen the charges, but we haven't seen the evidence yet. I think one of the problems is, because of the publicity, people have their mind made up."

Seibel worked at S-SM from 1992 to 2003 and served as a dorm parent for many of those years. Investigation revealed that an allegation of sexual misconduct was made against Seibel in May 2001.

The allegations were investigated by the school and, according to a statement from S-SM officials in October, nothing was found. Still, they said they forwarded the allegations to Rice County Department of Social Services and the Faribault Police Department. Officials from both departments say they haven't found any evidence of such reports. 

Don Gudmundson, who served as Faribault's interim police chief during the investigation, has publicly lambasted S-SM officials for not doing more to protect their students. 

It was the discovery of about 14,000 pornographic images and files on his work computer, according to court documents, that led to his release from the school in June 2003. S-SM officials have described the images as “pornographic material unrelated to our community,” though authorities classified a majority as illegal child pornography.

Seibel's final role was as theater department chair. 

Seibel faces charges in connection to the pornography, but the more serious allegations involve him encouraging at least six male students to masturbate in front of him in secret sessions on campus during his time at S-SM. He is also accused of molesting two students. 

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.

The Faribault Police Department opened its investigation in June after a man reported to an Olmsted Community Corrections employee that he had been assaulted by Seibel while a student at S-SM in 2001. The disclosure came as part of a pre-sentence investigation on an unrelated criminal sexual conduct case in which the victim was charged.

The FPD sent its detectives and officers, along with special agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, across the country to talk with former students who had relocated after attending S-SM. Since charges have been filed, officials involved in the investigation have said they believe there are more victims. 

According to a press release issued by Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen Tuesday morning, Seibel faces no new charges at this time.

Seibel was arrested Aug. 12 at his home in Long Beach, Calif., after Faribault and BCA officers searched his home and confiscated his computer. Several images of child pornography were found on Seibel's computer both during a quick forensic preview and followup forensic examination, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mark Beaart.

A single count of possession of child pornography was filed in Los Angeles County, but that charge was dropped earlier this month to allow for the Rice County case to be prosecuted, Beaart said. 

"I hope that justice is completely served in all respects," Beaart said of the case against Seibel on Monday afternoon.

Check back for further updates as this story develops.

---

The former Shattuck-St. Mary's drama teacher accused of criminal sexual misconduct will appear in Rice County court today, more than four months after 17 felony charges were filed against him.

Lynn Phillip Seibel was booked in the Rice County Jail overnight. He was released from the Los Angeles County Jail and into the custody of Rice County Chief Deputy Dave Stensrud, who flew to California over the weekend, on Monday morning. 

Seibel, 71, had been in the California jail since August on a charge of possession of child pornography, but authorities say that case was dropped so prosecution of the Rice County case could begin.

Seibel is expected to appear in court Tuesday morning with his public defender, James Martin, who was assigned to the case by Judge Christine Long earlier this month, according to online court records.

Criminal charges filed against Seibel Oct. 8 include counts of allegedly using minors in pornographic work, possessing pornographic material on a work computer and more than 10 counts of second- and fourth-degree criminal sexual misconduct with the victim being 15-17 and the perpetrator in a position of authority.

All 17 charges are felonies.

If convicted of the most serious charge, Seibel faces 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The fourth-degree criminal sex conduct charges each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.

Seibel worked at S-SM from 1992 to 2003 and served as a dorm parent for many of those years. Investigation revealed that an allegation of sexual misconduct was made against Seibel in May 2001.

The allegations were investigated by the school and, according to a statement from S-SM officials in October, nothing was found. Still, they said they forwarded the allegations to Rice County Department of Social Services and the Faribault Police Department. Officials from both departments say they haven't found any evidence of such reports. 

Don Gudmundson, who served as Faribault's interim police chief during the investigation, has publicly lambasted S-SM officials for not doing more to protect their students. 

It was the discovery of about 14,000 pornographic images and files on his work computer, according to court documents, that led to his release from the school in June 2003. S-SM officials have described the images as “pornographic material unrelated to our community,” though authorities classified a majority as illegal child pornography.

Seibel's final role was as theater department chair. 

Seibel faces charges in connection to the pornography, but the more serious allegations involve him encouraging at least six male students to masturbate in front of him in secret sessions on campus during his time at S-SM. He is also accused of molesting two students. 

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.

The Faribault Police Department opened its investigation in June after a man reported to an Olmsted Community Corrections employee that he had been assaulted by Seibel while a student at S-SM in 2001. The disclosure came as part of a pre-sentence investigation on an unrelated criminal sexual conduct case in which the victim was charged.

The FPD sent its detectives and officers, along with special agents from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, across the country to talk with former students who had relocated after attending S-SM. Since charges have been filed, officials involved in the investigation have said they believe there are more victims. 

According to a press release issued by Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen Tuesday morning, Seibel faces no new charges at this time.

Seibel was arrested Aug. 12 at his home in Long Beach, Calif., after Faribault and BCA officers searched his home and confiscated his computer. Several images of child pornography were found on Seibel's computer both during a quick forensic preview and followup forensic examination, according to Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mark Beaart.

A single count of possession of child pornography was filed in Los Angeles County, but that charge was dropped earlier this month to allow for the Rice County case to be prosecuted, Beaart said. 

"I hope that justice is completely served in all respects," Beaart said of the case against Seibel on Monday afternoon.

Check back for further updates as this story develops.

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