Albert Lea man charged with sexual contact for YMCA incident

Published 10:48 am Friday, May 31, 2013

ALBERT LEA — A 64-year-old Albert Lea man is accused of engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact with a 30-year-old man in March.

Glen Charles Parsons, a retired school teacher known for his roles directing and acting in local theater, appeared on a fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, a gross misdemeanor, Thursday in Freeborn County District Court. Fifth degree is the least severe charge of criminal sexual conduct.

Parsons’ lawyer, Kevin Siefken, said he entered a provisional not guilty plea during the hearing, and he will review evidence during the next 30 days before deciding how to proceed. He declined to comment otherwise.

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According to court files, Parsons allegedly admitted the act to an Albert Lea Police Department detective.

Court documents state Albert Lea police were notified of the alleged incident the morning of March 8 at the Albert Lea Family YMCA. A man reported to Family Y staff that another man had inappropriately touched him while he was showering in the locker room, according to a court file compiled by the detective. The man reportedly stated that what had happened was “crossing the line” and he put out his hands gesturing to get away, court documents state.

Though the man did not know Parsons’ name, he reportedly gave a description that matched Parsons’ and later identified him in a photo lineup. The man told police he had only met Parsons a few days prior.

Police used electronic sign-in information at the Y to confirm Parsons was there at the time.

When interviewed by police, Parsons at first stated he had touched the man’s back and leg and told the detective he thought the situation was misinterpreted, according to court files.

He denied inappropriately touching the man otherwise and said he did not recall the man putting up his hands and gesturing, court files state. He told the detective that other people in the locker room would have recalled it.

Court records state when a police detective asked Parsons why the man would have made up an allegation if it was not true, Parsons reportedly recalled the man putting his hands up and saying something, though he did not understand what the man said.

Later in the interview, he changed course and allegedly admitted to police that he committed the act, adding that “he wasn’t thinking,” court documents stated.

He expressed concern about the effect such allegations would present for his work with youth.

His charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

A woman who answered the phone at Parsons’ home Thursday afternoon said he was not available.