BURNSVILLE, Minn. - A Burnsville High School teacher faces sex charges after police say he had sex with a male student and sent nude photos of himself to another student via Snapchat.
Erik Akervik, 29, of Burnsville, is charged with electronic solicitation of a child and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.
According to the criminal complaint. a 15-year-old male student added Akervik on several social media apps about a year ago. The student told investigators Akervik began communicating with him via Snapchat about two or three weeks ago. Akervik allegedly sent a message to the student stating, "I'd like to get to know you closer and better."
The student says the conversation continued for two or three days. During that time, Akervik allegedly sent photos of his penis to the student with a message stating, "This is how you have me feeling right now."
The student says he did not save the initial photos knowing Snapchat would notify Akervik the photos were saved. The student was later able to download an app to save photos without notifying Akervik. Authorities say they were able to recover a picture of Akervik, naked, with an erect penis.
When investigators interviewed the student they discovered Akervik may have had a relationship with another male student. Authorities interviewed that person, who admitted having anal sex with Akervik in December 2016. The alleged encounter happened at Akervik's apartment when the former Burnsville student was 16 years old.
Authorities arrested Akervik this week. He made his first appearance in Dakota County Court Wednesday and is being held in the Dakota County Jail pending conditional bond.
At a press conference following the court appearance, Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom told reporters that Akervik is also a youth choir director at a church in downtown Minneapolis and said that investigators are looking into whether Akervik had inappropriate contact with any young people there.
"Well I think this is a situation that is every parent's nightmare," Backstrom said.
Akervik was allegedly using the app Snapchat -- where photos permanently disappear after they're sent. So the victim did a little investigative work himself.
"He later was able to download an app onto his phone that allowed him to save the photos received over the Snapchat app without alerting the person sending the photos," Backstrom said. "I want to give that young man a lot of credit."
According to the criminal complaint, the boy helped police preserve one nude photo as evidence. And the 15-year-old also helped police identify a 16-year-old boy -- another student -- whom prosecutors allege Akervik had sex with at his apartment.
"It is illegal for any person who is in a position of authority to have sex with a 16 or 17 year old youth. And a teacher is obviously in a position of authority over students," Backstrom said.
And Backstrom asks any other possible victims out there to contact Burnsville Police.
Akervik's next court appearance is set for May 11.
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