Former Eden Prairie teacher accused of grooming student pleads guilty to child endangerment

A former Eden Prairie High School teacher accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student pleaded guilty in court on Friday. 

Craig Hollenbeck, 51, was accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student during the second half of the 2020-2021 school year. During the four months of the relationship, they talked on social media, via text messages, during FaceTime calls and met alone in his classroom, according to charging documents.

Hollenbeck allegedly told the student he fell in love with her while they were in his class, and it was "undeniable" by mid-February, according to court documents. 

Experts told investigators Hollenbeck’s actions were child grooming, and that kind of grooming behavior could likely cause substantial harm to their emotional or mental health, stated court documents.

Hollenbeck was charged in October with a misdemeanor for endangering a child and filed a petition to plead guilty on Friday. If the judge accepts the plea deal terms, Hollenbeck could serve a maximum of 30 days in jail followed by two years of supervised probation. 

He also must go under pre-sentence investigation, a psychosexual evaluation, and can't have contact with the victim. 

The former Eden Prairie High School teacher is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6, 2023.