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Charges: Blaine teacher assaulted girl while helping her with schoolwork

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A fourth-grade teacher in Blaine is accused of sexually assaulting a student when she asked for help with schoolwork.

Kenneth L. Sonnenfeld, 52, was charged in Anoka County with second-degree criminal sexual conduct after the 10-year-old student reported the assault, a news release says. He was arrested March 8.

Sonnenfeld, a teacher at Johnsville Elementary School, has been placed on administrative, a news release from Anoka-Hennepin schools says. The district "immediately reported" the complaint to law enforcement and will also conduct its own investigation, noting "action may be taken as a result of those findings."

According to the criminal complaint:

Sonnenfeld was the girl's math and science teacher at the time of the assaults, which would occur when the girl was standing at his desk getting help on her schoolwork.

She told investigators Sonnenfeld touched her vagina during class on five or six occasions from December 2014 to the spring of 2015.

The girl stopped asking for help so he would stop touching her, and decided to say what happened so her "chest and stomach wouldn't hurt anymore."

She was 9 years old at the time of the assaults.

If convicted, Sonnenfeld could face up to 25 years in prison, plus a conditional release term, and/or a fine ranging from $10,500 to $35,000.

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