Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Erik Michael Akervik, age 29 of Burnsville, has been charged* with one count each of Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 3rd Degree and Electronic Solicitation of a Child (both felonies) in connection with having sex with a 16-year-old student and sending nude photos of himself to another student. At the time of these acts, Akervik was a teacher at Burnsville High School.
A summary of the allegations contained in the criminal complaint filed today is set forth below:
On April 10, 2017 a report was made to a school resource officer at Burnsville High School about sexually inappropriate communications sent by Akervik to a 15-year-old high school student. The student reported that Akervik added him as a friend on several social media apps and websites about a year prior to this report. About three weeks prior, Akervik had been communicating with the student via Snapchat and sent a message that said "I’d like to get to know you closer and better." This online conversation continued for two or three days. During this conversation the student began to receive nude photos from Akervik. The student later acquired a third party phone app that would allow him to save the photos. Police were able to recover a full body naked photo of Akervik from the student’s phone.
During the conversation with the student, Akervik admitted to "taking the virginity of a 15 or 16 year old", and made comments leading to the possible identity of this 15 or 16 year old. Based upon information provided by school officials, police made contact with another Burnsville High School student. That student reported to police that Akervik had invited him over to Akervik’s apartment in Burnsville in December of 2016. While Akervik and the student were watching television, Akervik started kissing the student. Akervik proceeded to engage in a sexual act with this student who was 16-years-old at the time.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint, by contacting Monica Jensen at firstname.lastname@example.org. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed online at: Inmate Search
Backstrom commented: "It is a felony under Minnesota law for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student who is 16 or 17-years-old, if the teacher is more than 48 months older than the student. Criminal activity of this nature is a significant breach of trust of students, their parents, and the school community."
Backstrom added that if anyone has information concerning other potential victims, they should contact Sgt. Patrick Gast at the Burnsville Police Department at 952-895-4609.
Backstrom thanked the Burnsville Police Department, Burnsville High School and Independent School District 191 for their prompt attention to this matter.
Akervik made his first appearance on these charges today and bail in the amount of $150,000 without conditions ($100,000 with conditions) was set by Dakota County District Court Judge Timothy McManus. Mr. Akervik’s next court appearance is set for May 11, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. in Hastings.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4440.
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.