Former Burnsville teacher pleads guilty to sex charges

The former Burnsville High School teacher pleaded guilty to the criminal sex charges on Monday.

BURNSVILLE, Minn. - A former Burnsville High School teacher has pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct charges after authorities say he had sex with a 16-year-old student and sent nude photos of himself to another student, through social media.

Erik Akervik, 30, of Burnsville, will be sentenced on that charge on June 14 but another charge of electronic solicitation of a child has previously been severed and is now set for a jury trial on July 9. A second count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct has been dismissed.

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According to the criminal complaint. the then-15-year-old male student added Akervik on several social media apps more than a year ago. The student told investigators Akervik began communicating with him via Snapchat. 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.

When investigators interviewed the student they discovered Akervik may have had a relationship with another male student. Authorities interviewed that person, who admitted having sex with Akervik in December 2016. The alleged encounter happened at Akervik's apartment when the former Burnsville student was 16 years old.

Akervik was also a youth choir director at a church in downtown Minneapolis. At the time of his arrest, investigators were looking into whether Akervik had inappropriate contact with any young people there.