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Former New York Mills teacher acquitted of charge alleging sexual contact with student

Kris Koll

NEW YORK MILLS, Minn. — A former New York Mills teacher was recently acquitted of felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct alleging that he had sexual contact with a student.

After a three-day trial, an Otter Tail County jury found the former teacher, 38-year-old Kris Koll, not guilty of the charge on Thursday, Nov. 16.

The original complaint against Koll, filed in December 2016, claimed he had sexual contact on several occasions with a 17-year-old student.

Koll's attorney, Anthony Bussa, said in a phone interview that "no sexual contact occurred" and that his client was not in a position of authority during the alleged acts, which is what fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct deals with specifically.

WDAY-TV reported in December that Koll was placed on administrative leave when the allegations surfaced. Bussa said at the time that Koll and the school board "amicably split."

With a population of a little more than 1,000, New York Mills is "a very, very small community and word travels fast," Bussa said.

"People get stigmatized with these allegations," he said. "No one ever really gets to know what happened, and it's not often teachers are acquitted."

Bussa said his client could continue teaching, but that Koll also has his own business.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt is a reporter with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and a 2014 graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth. She started her newspaper career at the Owatonna People’s Press covering arts and education. In 2016, she received Minnesota Newspaper Association's Dave Pyle New Journalist Award and later that year she joined The Forum newsroom.

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