RCMP have charged a male teacher at a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Ardrossan with six sexual offences involving a female student, a situation the superintendent of the Elk Island Catholic Schools Division called “gut-wrenching.”
Strathcona County RCMP received a complaint Feb. 2, after the student disclosed the information to a teacher. It is alleged the offences took place between March 2013 and September 2014.
Brett Daniel Mittelsteadt, 32, of Strathcona County, is charged with sexual interference, sexual exploitation, invitation to sexual touching, child luring, committing a sexual offence against a child and sexual assault.
He has been released from custody with several conditions and is scheduled to appear March 11 in Sherwood Park Provincial Court.
The school division said it conducted its own investigation and Mittelsteadt has been “suspended from his duties effective immediately and no longer has access to any students within Elk Island Catholic Schools Division.”
Superintendent Michael Hauptman, visibly shaken as he spoke Wednesday at a news conference in Sherwood Park said: “As a division, we recognize the scared trust between a student and our staff and how our entire community is affected when there is an alleged breach in that trust.”
Hauptman said he learned about the alleged offences Feb. 1, when he received a phone call from the teacher the student told.
The student “was in an alleged inappropriate relationship with a current employee,” Hauptman said. He would not disclose the student’s age.
“As you would expect, it was devastating,” Hauptman said.
As students, their families and staff take in the news, Hauptman said the community is leaning on its faith.
“We are so used to turning to God in celebration. Now we need support,” he said.
Mittelsteadt has been employed by the division since 2004 and most recently worked at Holy Redeemer Catholic School, a kindergarten to Grade 8 school in Ardrossan.
Mittelsteadt taught language arts, electric guitar, and religion to Grade 7 and 8 students, according to a web page for the school division that has since been removed.
He had six years of experience organizing and coaching Hot Shots Basketball Camps in Sherwood Park, says a profile on the basketball camp’s website that has also been removed.
RCMP Cpl. Darren Anderson said Wednesday afternoon the alleged victim is a teenager.
When asked about the nearly six months between the alleged offences ending and the charges being laid, Anderson said he did not know why there was a gap.
“The info was brought forward to a staff member with Elk Island Catholic School Division over the weekend and was brought forward to us early Monday, so once it was reported things happened very quickly,” Anderson said.
Police said there is no information to suggest there is more than one alleged victim.