Charges say Clearwater County deputy had sex with student at school

Neil Dolan web.jpg
Neil Dolan

BAGLEY, Minn. — A Clearwater County Deputy Sheriff was charged on Thursday, Nov. 21, with two counts of sexual misconduct after he allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old student in Bagley High School in 2017.

The charges against the deputy, Neil Dolan, 31, of Bagley, include one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. Dolan is scheduled to appear in court in Clearwater County on Friday. He was booked into the Clearwater County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

Bagley Chief of Police Renee Benson reported the incident to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on Tuesday, Nov. 19, the complaint said. The BCA is investigating the case because Dolan is a Clearwater County employee.

The assault allegedly occurred the last day of school in early June of 2017, the complaint said. Dolan was a school resource officer at Bagley High School for the past eight years. The complaint does not identify the victim by name or gender, however, it said the victim was in the ninth grade.

Dolan was 29 years old at the time. The complaint said the assault included “sexual penetration” of the victim in his high school office. It also referenced that he was in a position of authority over the victim and that, as a resource officer, he wore a uniform and carried a service revolver.


Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson said Dolan has a clean personnel file in his near-decade of service. He added that there were no signs of misconduct on the part of Dolan, who plays other roles in the Clearwater County community, including emergency manager and football coach.

“I've talked with school officials, and nobody had red flags; this came out of nowhere,” Halverson said. “A lot of people had him at their family functions ... that's why it is tearing the community apart.”

Kim Bennett, whose daughter attends Bagley High School, said the news of Dolan’s alleged sexual misconduct was “quite a shock,” and described the deputy as a popular figure in the school, whom students congregate around and exchange high-fives with.

“I hope they aren't true,” Bennett said of the allegations, “but if they are he is, unfortunately, going to pay the consequences.”

Matt Henson of Forum Communications Co. contributed to this report.

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