Suspect in school sex case released while prosecutors consider charges

The Hennepin County Attorney says lawyers need more time to decide whether to file charges.
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The 42-year-old man suspected of sneaking into a Twin Cities high school to have sex with an adult student has been released from jail while prosecutors consider whether to file charges.

Brooklyn Park police arrested the man at Champlin Park High School on Wednesday, saying he and the student had arranged a sexual encounter in a school bathroom.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman faced a 4 p.m. Friday deadline to either charge the man with a crime or release him from jail. Shortly before then, Freeman's office released a statement saying "... because of the complexity of the case, prosecutors deferred the charges in order to allow time for further investigation."

4 p.m. was actually a second deadline, granted by a court after Freeman requested an extension.

Gauging whether the sex was consensual

Earlier Friday, Brooklyn Park police told reporters the 19-year-old special needs student had met the man through social media, the Star Tribune says.

According to KARE 11, Brooklyn Park assistant police chief Mark Bruley said a decision on whether to charge the 42-year-old with a felony sex crime may hinge on whether the 19-year-old man is deemed capable of consenting to sex. Psychologists, prosecutors, and law enforcement are conferring on that, he said.

If the county attorney decides not to charge the suspect with criminal sexual conduct, Brooklyn Park's city attorney could still file a misdemeanor trespass charge.

Champlin Park's principal has said the man has no connection to the school, which has tightened its security procedures for visitors since he was able to get around them on Wednesday.

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