See more of the story

A Duluth-area middle school teacher molested one of his female students dozens of times for about a year and threatened to kill himself if anyone found out, according to charges filed Thursday.

Todd R. Clark, a math teacher at A.I. Jedlicka Middle School in Proctor, was charged with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the assaults that occurred starting when the girl was 15 years old.

Clark, 51, of Duluth, was jailed Tuesday and remains held in lieu of $100,000 bail ahead of a Sept. 14 court appearance. Court records do not list an attorney for him.

Authorities were alerted to the alleged molestations last week, when the teenager confided in another teacher at the school, the charges read. The teacher then went to police with what she was told.

Clark has been teaching algebra at the middle school since he joined the school district eight years ago, said Superintendent John Engelking. Clark, a Proctor High School graduate, also was the varsity boys' basketball coach for seven seasons until he resigned in 2019.

According to the criminal complaint:

The teen told Duluth police that Clark, her onetime teacher who took her on as a classroom assistant, kissed and molested her about twice a week over the course of a year starting in 2017.

When the girl told him she was having difficulty keeping the encounters a secret, Clark made threats in various ways that he would take his own life.

Soon after the police interview with the teen concluded, emergency responders were called to Clark's home, where they found him "unconscious and foaming at the mouth," the charges read. He came to and answered, "I don't think so," when asked by medical personnel whether he tried to kill himself.

The molestations occurred during car rides, and Clark "had a process where during the middle of the ride he would go to a car wash and ... sexually abuse [her]," according to the charges.

A police search of the teens' cellphone turned up several incriminating texts written by Clark, among them, "Even an accusation of improper behavior ruins a teacher's career. My future is in your hands," the complaint read.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482