APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) - A former Apple Valley School employee is being investigated for allegations he repeatedly assaulted students. The case goes back nearly 40 years, but a social media post last month has prompted a new investigation.
“It was a Facebook post,” said Apple Valley Captain Nick Francis. “Just a reaching out, ‘How are you doing?’ or ‘Happy Birthday,’ just a Facebook post and that prompted the victim to reach out to us.”
Captain Francis says for a man who came to his department last month, a Facebook post from Charles Schroeder brought back 37-year-old painful memories and quickly led to Schroeders's arrest.
According to the search warrant, during the time Schroeder was an audio video technician at Valley Middle School from the 1970s to the early 1990s, he was accused multiple times of having students over to swim in his pool, look at porn magazines and engage in other inappropriate behavior both on and off school campus.
The alleged victim from Facebook says when he was 16 years old, Schroeder pulled down his shorts and forced himself on the teen’s face.
“He’s denied inappropriate contact with this individual, but has expressed recollections of having similar inappropriate relationships with other people during that time,” said Capt. Francis.
In 1991, Apple Valley investigated similar allegations, but charges were never filed. Then in 1999, Schroeder was convicted of performing oral sex on a 15-year-old. He served jail time and was listed on the predatory offender list until 2015.
But during a recent interview, Francis says Schroeder admitted to having sexual experiences with at least three other boys under 18 years old during his time at Valley Middle School between 1972 to 1993.
“[Schroeder] did not make the admissions [the police] saying he's making and they've taken what he did say out of context and refashioned it,” said Jerry Burg, the attorney representing Schroeder. “This smacks to me of baiting an older homosexual by threatening him with the potential for criminal prosecution.”
During a search of Schroeder's home, investigators took journals, notebooks and other items, which are now being studied by forensics.
Police believe this evidence points toward about half a dozen more victims.
“This person is no longer in a position,” said Capt. Francis. “He was taken out of position to victimize students a long, long time ago and we are just cleaning up the mess that he left behind.”
No charges have been filed yet, but police hope to get to that point. Schroeder's attorney says all of this is twisting ancient history, pointing out Schroeder has had a clean record since serving time for his crime in the late 90s.