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Bemidji schools named in sex abuse suits involving deceased teacher

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The Bemidji School District is being sued over alleged sexual abuse of three elementary students by a former teacher who is now dead.

St. Paul-based attorney Jeff Anderson filed the suits on behalf of three victims who say they were sexually abused by former teacher John Wangberg between 2008 and 2012, reports the Forum News Service. The lawsuits were filed in Beltrami County.

Wangberg was charged in January with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Seven days after being arraigned on the charges in Beltrami District Court, Wangberg committed suicide, according to police, reports the Bemidji Pioneer.

The Associated Press, noting that Wangberg "was found dead in his home," says the lawsuits allege the school district was negligent in allowing Wangberg unsupervised access to students - even after the district was warned about his conduct.

Wangberg taught at Central Elementary School for 30 years, reports WCCO, before resigning in March 2011.

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