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from www.bismarcktribune.com – A Wachter Middle School physical education teacher was charged Monday with three counts of felony Class C corruption or solicitation of minors.
Each count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, a $5,000 fine and $500 in mandatory court fees.
Susan Kathleen Duursma, 34, appeared in court Monday. Her bond was set at $1,000 along with the stipulations that she have no contact with the victim, or any other minors, not including her own child.
The prosecutor, Burleigh County Assistant State’s Attorney Pam Nesvig, asked for a $5,000 bond with the same stipulations, referring to a similar case last year with a $2,000 bond and Duursma’s minor criminal history — most notably, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident charges in 2010 and a deferred prosecution simple assault in 2007.
Bond was set by South Central District Judge David Reich. Reich presided after South Central District Judge Cynthia Feland recused herself.
Duursma was initially arrested Friday for an alleged sex act with a juvenile male, aged 15 at the time.
She was taken to Burleigh County Detention Center, according to police, but was released later Friday after appearing before a judge.
The alleged act occurred between March 1 and July 1, police said.
Bismarck Superintendent Tamara Uselman said she received the complaint late Thursday. After concluding the complaint had merit, she forwarded the information to the Bismarck Police Friday.
Duursma is now on administrative leave. The school district is in the process of deciding what further action to take, Uselman said.
This would have been Duursma’s seventh year with the Bismarck schools. Her file had no previous complaints or concerns, said Lisa Kudelka, the human resources manager for Bismarck schools.
Kudelka, who has been working for the district since 1997, said there has been no complaint of a similar nature against a Bismarck schools employee while she’s been there.
“We do everything possible to protect our students,” Uselman said.
A date for Duursma’s preliminary hearing has not yet been set.