An Eagan middle school teacher is accused of harassing a 12-year-old student using Snapchat.
According to the Dakota County criminal complaint, Cody Hansen, 25, is accused of repeatedly sending messages to the female student starting last November, using four different user names despite protests from the girl that he was "creeping [her] out."
When confronted by the school principal and an Eagan police officer on Jan. 11, Hansen said he was "absolutely not" Snapchatting with the girl, according to the charges.
Three days later, he admitted to a police officer he sent the messages to the astudent, saying he was struggling with a personal problem which he identified as "lust," the complaint says. He added "talking" helped, and he stopped communicating with the student and "hoped this would all go away."
He's charged with two felony counts of stalking a victim under the age of 18. Each count carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, and/or up to a $10,000 fine.
The Snapchat website has a community guidelines section, which includes things like "Don't use Snapchat for any illegal shenanigans," and notes threats, harassment and bullying shouldn't be snapped.
There's also an option to report a safety or abuse issue.
There's a safety section for parents or teachers who may have questions about the app.
The FBI two years ago said Snapchat is one of the apps that can put minors at risk, noting pedophiles can use it to contact victims, 10 TV reported.
Details from the charges
According to the criminal complaint filed against Hansen:
Hansen first contacted the student in November under the user name "sdrawkcabydoc" (which, spelled backwards, reads "codybackwards." He hinted he was in her math class, but only gave clues to who it was, and told her she was cute.
After a second exchange under a new user name ("mnydoc"), Hansen asked her if she'd ever been kissed. She responded, "no, f*ck off, who are you?" He identified himself as "Mr. H," asked is she was single, and said she couldn't tell anyone they were talking. She responded by saying "you're creeping me out" and asked how he got her Snapchat user name; he said through Instagram.
Around Christmas, there was a third exchange (with the user name "dnocesmai") in which the student asked for verification it was Hansen. He also asked why she was telling other students about their communication – she told Hansen he was being "extremely weird" and "harassing her," and also noted what he was doing was "illegal."
During the fourth and final incident a week later, the studen asked Hansen (using the user name "userydoc" now) her mother's name and math grade – the latter of which she was embarrassed about, so told nobody, meaning Hansen is the only other one who knew. Hansen answered correctly, and asked if she wanted to talk – to which she replied "no," and blocked that user name.