Teacher accused of fondling 13-year-old student years prior

Crime

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Felony charges were filed Monday against a man who police say fondled and molested a girl who was a student of his at a Fort Wayne school that has since closed.

Eric Gerdes
Eric Gerdes

Eric M. Gerdes, 39, is charged with two counts of sexual misconduct with a minor, one count of child molesting, one count of vicarious sexual gratification and one count of dissemination of matter harmful to minors.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed in Allen County, Gerdes was a teacher at Imagine Master Academy from 2011 to 2013. Over that time, Gerdes allegedly had sexual contact with a 6th grade student in Gerdes’ classroom, the affidavit detailed.

The two also engaged in explicit video chats, the affidavit said.

Imagine Master Academy has since closed. WANE 15 has learned Gerdes has most recently been working for the Huntington County Community School Corporation, at Crestview Middle School in Huntington.

The district issued the following statement dated Feb. 11, 2020:

It has been brought to our attention that legal action has been taken in regard to an employee of the Huntington County Community School Corporation. Appropriate actions were taken by HCCSC Administration immediately upon notification of this matter. Our number one priority is always the safety and security of our students and staff members. Due to this being an open investigation, we are unable to comment further.

Huntington County Community School Corporation

Gerdes was still listed on the school’s website as of Thursday. The district said he’s been placed on administrative leave.

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