An award-winning teacher from Duluth is facing charges after being accused of sexually assaulting an underage former student.
Karla Jean Winterfeld, 33, a health and special education teacher of Lincoln Park Middle School, was charged this week with 1st degree criminal sexual conduct – the most serious sex crime charge under Minnesota law.
She allegedly confessed to multiple sex acts with a 15-year-old boy, whom she used to teach, between May 4 and 19 this month at her Duluth home.
The criminal complaint states police found video recordings, pictures, texts and other evidence to support the allegations.
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The Forum News Service reports Winterfeld has been a teacher in the Duluth schools district since 2007, starting at Morgan Park Middle School before moving to Lincoln Park in 2012.
She won the 2016 Greg Irons Teacher Award as well as being nominated twice for the Goldfine Gold Star Teacher Award.
The Greg Irons Award is given to individual Duluth teachers who "demonstrate their belief that all students have worth and the desire to succeed and that responsibility, sincerity, honesty and hard work are the foundation of a person's life."
Winterfeld has been placed on administrative leave from her job.