HASTINGS, Minn. - A former high school music teacher is charged with having sex with a student at least three times while she was in a position of authority over him.
Dakota County prosecutors levied the charges against 31-year-old Christine Lee Funk, of New Hope, who is also accused of sending the teen semi-nude photos of herself.
A criminal complaint details how a school resource officer at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights became aware of alleged inappropriate communication between a 17-year-old student and Funk. Police recovered those text conversations, which suggested the two had already had sexual relations. Officers also found semi-nude pictures of Funk that had been sent to the teen.
Funk was interviewed and admitted texting with the boy but denied having sex, saying the messages were just a fantasy. When confronted with the pictures police had recovered, the defendant reportedly admitted to sending the images.
During his initial interview, the teen also denied having sex with his teacher.
Police then did a deeper audit of the student's phone and found additional messages suggesting the two had sex. In a second interview the boy told investigators that he and Funk had sexual relations three times, once at her New Hope home, once at the high school, and once in a car outside his parent's house.
“Crimes of this nature represent a significant abuse of authority," Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom said in a released statement, "and violates the trust students, parents, and the community have the right to expect of teachers.”
Funk is 13 years older than the student, who is still considered a minor. She was arrested Tuesday night and made her first court appearance in Dakota County Wednesday.