A former Minneapolis grade-school teacher and youth basketball coach was charged Thursday for the third time with sexually abusing a child under his care.
Aaron J. Hjermstad, 41, of Brooklyn Center was charged in Hennepin County District Court with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
He was charged in June in two other cases, and he also faces one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, soliciting a child and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
All three of his alleged victims were preteens at the time of the offenses, which occurred in 2014 through earlier this year while they spent nights at Hjermstad’s home. Hjermstad was their basketball coach.
Hjermstad had most recently worked as a physical education and health teacher at the Mastery School, a K-6 charter school, and was a basketball coach at Hospitality House Youth Development. He previously worked as a gym teacher at Excell Academy, also a charter school.
According to the criminal complaint filed Thursday: A boy told police in May 2015 that Hjermstad made him touch Hjermstad sexually when he spent the night at the coach’s home. The boy pretended to sleep to stop the assault, which investigators concluded had taken place in 2014.
The boy said a second incident occurred several days after his birthday in 2015. He was at Hjermstad’s home with teammates, “stayed awake all night out of fear,” and saw Hjermstad looking up his shorts, the charges said.
Brooklyn Center police said they investigated the case in 2015 and forwarded it to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, which did not charge the case at the time. The county attorney’s office said Friday that the case was charged “following a re-examination,” but did not explain its previous decision.
Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708