Mistrial declared in former ND Teacher of Year's sex case


A former North Dakota Teacher of the Year could face a new trial on charges of having sex with an underage student.

Thursday a judge declared a mistrial on two of the charges against Aaron Knodel, KVRR reports. The ruling opens the door to a retrial, though prosecutors did not immediately say if they would request one, the station says.

Knodel, 36, was charged last summer with five counts of corruption and solicitation of a minor. Prosecutors said he'd had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old female student at West Fargo high school in 2009.

Knodel's trial began on April 22. After five days of testimony, jurors were in their third day of deliberations when one member of the panel became disoriented and was taken to a hospital. She reportedly told deputies in the ambulance that she had lied during jury selection by saying she'd never been sexually abused.

The Fargo Forum reports that when deliberations were halted, all 12 jurors had agreed to acquit Knodel on three of the counts.

Thursday's ruling by Cass County District Court Judge Steven McCullough means Knodel could be tried again on the two remaining counts.

The Forum notes that McCullough's ruling is a rejection of the argument by defense attorneys that a new trial would amount to double jeopardy (being tried twice for the same crime) which is prohibited by the Constitution.

Knodel was named the 2014 Teacher of the Year by North Dakota United.

Next Up

Mike Zimmer

Frustrated Zimmer sounds off after Vikings' positive COVID test

"I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody [who didn't]."

Kirk Cousins

Report: Kellen Mond has COVID, Cousins among players out of practice

The team is scheduled to practice on Saturday night.

USPS packages

Two Ramsey County men sentenced in mail theft scheme

Sonny Vang Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison, while Davis Her was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.


Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.

police lights

Investigation underway after body found during welfare check in Plato

The identity of the deceased has not yet been revealed.

Mayor Brad Wiersum

'Please, please, please get vaccinated,' Minnetonka mayor pleads

This comes as the local state of emergency officially ends.

YouTube - Jeopardy screengrab minneapolis

Can you answer all the Minneapolis questions from this week's 'Jeopardy?'

KARE personalities including Randy Shaver and Rena Sarigianopoulos presented the clues.

Pexels - woman shop mask covid CROP

35 counties, including most of Twin Cities, now COVID hotspots

The CDC recommends everyone wear a mask in public, indoor places in these counties.