Former music teacher sentenced for criminal sexual conduct


Christine Lee Funk

A former Henry Sibley High School music teacher was sentenced June 25 after pleading guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct in Dakota County District Court.

Christine Lee Funk, 32 of New Hope, was sentenced to 180 days in jail and 10 years probation and she must also register as a predatory offender.

Funk was charged on July 26, 2017, with three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after it was discovered she’d engaged in sexual relations with a 17-year-old male student on three occasions in February of that year while she was still employed as a teacher. Funk resigned from Henry Sibley March 6, 2017; two of the counts against her were dismissed.

According to Funk’s criminal complain, on Feb. 27, 2017, a school resource officer from the Mendota Heights Police Department received information regarding inappropriate text messages between a 17-year-old male student and his music teacher. 

In reviewing the messages, police found conversations that suggested Funk and the student had engaged in sexual relations. Officers also discovered Funk had sent several partially nude photos of herself to the student.

Funk was interviewed and admitted texting with the student. According to the complaint, when confronted with the content of the messages, Funk denied having engaged in sexual relations with the student and explained any text messages of a sexual nature were fantasy. Funk initially denied sending partially nude photos to the student, but later admitted to doing so after being shown the pictures found on the student’s cell phone.

During an interview with the student, he reported receiving texts from Funk that were of her partially nude. He denied they had engaged in sexual relations.

According to the complaint, after the interview with the student a full search of his cellphone was completed. This search recovered additional text messages that further suggested the two had engaged in sexual relations. 

In a later interview, the student reported he and Funk had engaged in sexual relations on more than one occasion. One of the incidents occurred in February 2017 at the high school and another time in that same month in a vehicle parked outside the student’s residence in Dakota County. The two also engaged in sexual acts at Funk’s home in Hennepin County, though since the student lived in Dakota County, she was charged there.

 

— Hannah Burlingame

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