Esteemed University of Minnesota professor is sentenced for domestic assault

He had pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor earlier this year.
Publish date:
Aaron Doering

A respected University of Minnesota professor will spend almost 6 months at a Hennepin County workhouse after admitting domestic assault.

Aaron Doering, 47, is a professor of learning technologies, a co-director of the U of M's LT Media Lab, and a noted climate change speaker and educator. 

He pleaded guilty in April to gross misdemeanor domestic assault by strangulation and violating a domestic abuse no-contact order.

He had initially been charged with a felony, but it was reduced to a gross misdemeanor in exchange for a guilty plea, with Doering sentenced to 365 days in the workhouse, of which he'll serve 180.

He won't have to serve the remaining 185 provided he successfully serves 2 years of probation, which includes undergoing alcohol addiction and mental health treatment.

Doering, who has tenure at the U of M, has been on administrative leave since the allegations against him became known. The university intimated that this leave will continue in a statement it sent to BMTN.

"The University is aware of the outcome of Professor Doering's sentencing hearing today. Unequivocally, the University denounces all forms of domestic violence, including the conduct Professor Doering admitted to in court," a spokeswoman said.

"Professor Doering is a tenured faculty member. The Tenure Code details his employment rights, rights which the University is required to consider. He is currently on administrative leave, where he will continue active research and academic writing that can be done off campus and without communicating with members of the campus community. He is not teaching classes or working on campus in any capacity."

According to the criminal charges against him, Minneapolis police officers arrived at his home in late December to respond to a "reported domestic assault-in-progress," and "could hear a male and female arguing inside."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

They found Doering and a woman identified only as "M.R." She told them that Doering had "grabbed her by the hair and dragged her around the apartment," slapped and hit her, and choked her to the point where she couldn't breathe and thought she would lose consciousness.

She also "reported her belief that Defendant would eventually kill her."

Officers at the scene noted red marks on the woman's forehead, and "bruising in the shape of fingers" on the left side of her neck.

The victim told police she'd been assaulted by Doering "several times" in the past, and had pictures of her previous injuries to prove it. 

As well as his work at the U of M and as a climate change speaker, Doering was also featured in “The Changing Earth,” an Emmy-nominated documentary "about a 137-mile trek through the Arctic wilderness into Iceland." 

Next Up

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


U of M prof and noted climate change speaker charged with domestic abuse

Aaron Doering was featured in a Twin Cities PBS documentary last year.

U of M professor accused of sexually assaulting and stalking ex

One in every seven women has been stalked to the point of being scared for their safety, one group says.

Prosecutors drop sex assault, stalking charges against U of M professor

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said the case was dropped "in the interests of justice."

Gophers' Shannon Brooks arrested for alleged domestic assault

Brooks' girlfriend says he was in a fight with another male.

Screen Shot 2019-10-22 at 9.57.21 PM

Sexual assault under investigation near U of M campus

A timely warning has been issued to university students.

U of M prof punished for 'outrageous scheme' to swindle wife during divorce

The 57 year old lied about how much was in his retirement account.

Police: U of M student sexually assaulted in dorm room

The 19-year-old was assaulted in a student room at Bailey Hall.

Dequarn Bell

Hopkins man receives life sentence for vicious assault, holding woman captive

The 25-year-old pleaded guilty after three weeks of trial.