Skip to main content

A former Forest Lake middle school teacher has been sentenced for sexually assaulting two former students multiple times at his home.

James Edward Carter, 58, has been sentenced to one year in prison after being found guilty of 2nd and 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The former educator, who taught industrial tech at Forest Lake Area Middle School, was charged in August 2020 after he groomed and sexually assaulted two boys.

According to the criminal complaint, Carter paid several of his students and former students to do work at his home and other properties. He provided two boys – aged 16 and 17 – with gifts, bought them meals at restaurants and would attend church together (either in person or online at Carter's home).

These boys both accused Carter of massaging their groins on at least one occasion.

According to charges, there were ten other high school-aged boys that were identified as students who "worked" for Carter on various projects.

“Mr. Carter’s blatant abuse of his position of trust to sexually abuse minor victims is every parent’s nightmare and a crime that this office will always prosecute to the fullest extent,” said Washington County Attorney Kevin Magnuson, whose office prosecuted the case.

"It is my hope that the conclusion of this case will help the victims and their families continue to heal.”

Pastor apologizes after seeking 'clemency' for teacher

A pastor in Forest Lake has apologized to the community after he sought "clemency" for Carter.

According to court documents, Father Daniel Bodin sent a letter to the judge presiding over Carter's trial asking for clemency because the church had not received any sexual assault allegations against Carter, "but only letters of praise and gratitude for the work Mr. Carter has done to instruct and encourage the youth to live and practice their faith."

Carter used to volunteer at St. Peter in Forest Lake, where Bodin is the lead pastor.

However, Bodin has since apologized for his actions. A statement on the church's website reads:

In July, I sent a letter on behalf of James Carter to the judge who presided over Carter’s sexual abuse trial and who will be imposing a sentence on him this Friday [September 16, 2022]. I am deeply sorry and take full responsibility for the pain that letter caused those who were abused by James Carter, their loved ones, the faithful and our community. It was wrong of me to send the letter and I deeply regret doing so. Please know that today I again wrote to the judge and retracted my earlier letter in its entirety. A copy of today’s letter is located here.

Child abusers must be held accountable and punished under the law. Period. Children count on us for protection and I am committed to creating and maintaining safe environments both at our school and in our parish community. My first letter was incompatible with that commitment. I should have known better and foreseen the harm. I am profoundly sorry for the pain caused by my failure.

In response, attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents the family of one of the victims, called Bodin's decision to support Carter during the trial "horrifying."

“The choice made by Fr. Bodin ... to stand with this offender and speak from the pulpit in support of him was horrifying,” said Anderson. "Fr. Bodin’s public apology was meaningless. It is time for Archbishop Hebda, Fr. Bodin, and the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to act. It is time to minister to the children. It is time to encourage that any other children harmed by this offender come forward, speak the truth, and report to law enforcement."

Anderson believes more victims are out there.

“We have deep concerns that these are not the only survivors,” continued Anderson. “Carter placed himself where he accessed children and over time groomed children for further access. It is time for Archbishop Hebda and Fr. Bodin to help heal rather than support the predator who posed the peril."

As well as imprisonment, Carter will have to serve 25 years probation that involves him having no contact with minors or hold any position of authority over minors as an employee or volunteer, as well as register as a sex offender.

Next Up

Dave Hutchinson

Dave Hutchinson has police license suspended for 30 days

The sheriff's suspension will begin on Nov. 22.

minnesota bureau of criminal apprehension - bca

Man with sword, officers who shot him in North Branch identified

The 31-year-old was shot multiple times in the Friday incident.

Jeff Plush

MN-based USA Curling 'reviewing' report that CEO ignored abuse in NWSL

Jeff Plush is under fire for multiple allegations made by U.S. women soccer players.

Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse

7 Minnesota pumpkin patches to visit this fall

Plenty of patches to pick the best pumpkin

slushy snow

Sven Sundgaard responds to AccuWeather's winter forecast

Take anything beyond a couple weeks with a grain of salt, warns meteorologist Sven Sundgaard.

1024px-Rage_Against_The_Machine

Rage Against the Machine cancels rest of tour, including MN shows

The cancellations include a 2023 stop at the Target Center.

Screen Shot 2022-10-04 at 11.03.16 AM

Watch: Speeding drivers use Minneapolis bike lanes to overtake

Community members have called for better safety precautions in response.

Jamal Smith

Jamal Smith sentenced to life for Plymouth road rage killing

A guilty verdict was determined by a jury this summer.

Related

edward carter mugshot

Charges: Forest Lake teacher sexually assaulted 2 former students

The now-former teacher would hire the boys to do projects at his home.

court room

Former MN wrestling coach acquitted by jury in 2 sexual assault cases

Mustafa Shabazz was originally charged with sexual assault involving two young girls he used to coach.

mark kosloski - chisago county jail

4 years for former coach who sexually assaulted 2 students

He pleaded guilty in two separate cases last fall.

Anoka Middle School for Arts

Former Anoka school teacher pleads guilty to sexually assaulting teen boys

The assaults occurred between 2010-2019, court documents say, when the boys were as young as 14.

hjermstad

Ex-MN youth basketball coach gets 12 years for sexually assaulting players

Aaron Hjermstad was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct against four children in November.

Anoka Middle School for Arts

Charges: Former Anoka teacher sexually assaulted 4 teenage boys

The assaults occurred between 2010-2019, court documents say, when the boys were as young as 14.

mark kosloski - chisago county jail

Former volleyball coach charged with sexually assaulting a player

Mark Kosloski was a coach at North Lakes Academy for six years, resigning in February for personal reasons.