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Former Bemidji teacher pleads guilty to sex with student

BEMIDJI -- A former teacher at Voyageurs Expeditionary School in Bemidji plead guilty to felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Beltrami County Court on Tuesday.

Paul Joseph Johnson, 48, of Backus, Minn., was charged in January after accusations of having a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old female student. Johnson plead not guilty to the charge in June.

Johnson taught math at the school for five years. He was placed on unpaid leave and terminated from his job at Voyageurs.

A female student informed law enforcement she and Johnson were engaging in a romantic sexual relationship from October to December. Court documents say the student and Johnson engaged in sexual intercourse at least three times.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment for not more than 15 years and/or a $30,000 fine.

Johnson is scheduled for sentencing Nov. 3.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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