Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Christine Lee Funk, age 31 of New Hope, has been charged* with three felony counts of Criminal Sexual Conduct. The criminal complaint filed today alleges that Funk, who was a high school music teacher, engaged in sexual relations with a 17-year-old student on three occasions in February of 2017.
A summary of the complaint includes:
On February 27, 2017, a school resource officer from Mendota Heights Police Department received information regarding inappropriate text messages occurring between a 17-year-old male student and his music teacher. In reviewing the messages, officers found conversations that suggested the teacher and the student had engaged in sexual relations. Officers also discovered that the teacher had sent several partially nude photos of herself to the student. During an interview with Funk, she denied having sexual relations with the student and explained that any text messages of a sexual nature were a "fantasy". When confronted about texting partially nude photos of herself to the student, Funk initially denied doing so, but then admitted doing so after being shown the pictures found on the student’s cell phone.
During an interview with the student, he reported receiving text messages and partially nude photos of Funk, but initially denied having sexual relations with her. After a full search of his cell phone, additional text messages were recovered that further suggested Funk and the student had engaged in sexual relations. The student later admitted to having sexual relations with Funk on more than one occasion at: Funk’s residence in Hennepin County; at the high school; and in a vehicle parked outside of the student’s home in Dakota County.
Backstrom indicated that under Minnesota law, it is a felony offense for a teacher to have sexual relations with a student under the age of 18 if the teacher is more than 48 months older than the student. Because this student resides in Dakota County, this Office has jurisdiction over the alleged Hennepin County incident in addition to the two alleged incidents which occurred in Dakota County.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint which is available online at:
Criminal Complaint Search. If in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search.
Backstrom commented: "Crimes of this nature represent a significant abuse of authority and violates the trust students, parents, and the community have the right to expect of teachers."
Backstrom thanked the Mendota Heights Police Department and the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office Electronic Crimes Unit for their thorough investigation into this matter.
Funk will make her initial court appearance on these charges this morning. 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.