School officials accused of not reporting janitor

Published 10:11 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ST. PAUL — Two former officials at a St. Paul school were charged Monday with failing to report a custodian’s alleged sexual misconduct against a student.

Beth Behnke, 48, of Burnsville, was principal and Craig Guidry, 52, of Arden Hills, was assistant principal at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus School in 2011 when custodian Walter Happel allegedly followed a boy into a bathroom.

Behnke and Guidry were both charged in Ramsey County with one count each of misdemeanor failure to report the maltreatment of minors. The Dakota County Attorney’s office reviewed and charged the cases to avoid a possible conflict of interest.

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“Mandated reporters are required to file reports within 24 hours of their direct observations or indirect information they receive related to the neglect or sexual abuse of a child,” Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said in a statement Monday.