EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Charges have been filed against a Twin Cities music teacher who is accused of having sexual conduct with a male student.
Eden Prairie Police say 29-year-old Robert James Ladwig of Coon Rapids was charged with fourth degree criminal sexual conduct on October 9.
Investigators say the charges against Ladwig are related to an incident that occurred June 27 while the defendant was teaching a private music lesson in an Eden Prairie home. Police allege that the 13-year-old male victim was repeatedly touched inappropriately during in-home flute lessons over a three-month period.
Court records show the Eden Prairie father came home during a lesson and instead found the teacher sitting very close to his son on the couch, in which they quickly moved apart. The father told police Ladwig asked if he could stay and play video games with his son, which the father refused.
After police intervened, interviews with the boy revealed Ladwig started giving the boy massages during lessons, and eventually ended up rubbing the teen near his groin.
The young victim also says that at one point Ladwig laid on him on a couch.
This is not Ladwig's first run-in with the law: Criminal records indicate he previously pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for an incident in 2011 where he kissed a young female student on the lip. Ladwig revealed to his ex-wife in 2011 that he had received counseling for his struggles with child pornography.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman says Ladwig is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 6.
Eden Prairie Police are reminding parents about the importance of maintaining open communication with children and asking detailed questions about what takes place when children are in the care of another adult.
They say anything that seems suspicious should be reported to local law enforcement.
The Jacob Wetterling Resource Center says in any situation parents should tell kids - it's okay to say no to an adult. Program Coordinator Allison Feigh says only about three percent of sexual offenders are found in a criminal background check.
"What offenders are looking for are kids who have never had the conversations. Don't know what the rules are or who to go to," said Feigh. "We need to train parents what to look for, and how to have those conversations, and we need to train kids on what to look for and what to do if someone tries to break their safety rules, or give them that gut instinct 'uh-oh' feeling."
Feigh suggests families make sure any private lessons are held in visible area where parents can drop in.
She tells families to hold a "safety night" twice a year to talk about everything from bike safety, fire safety, and appropriate touch.
"You can say no one has the right to touch your private parts unless they are keeping you clean and healthy," said Feigh.
The JWRC website has tips for family safety conversations.
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