Plea Deal For Former Rochester Schools Employee in Sex Abuse Case
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A former Rochester School District employee entered into a plea agreement today in Olmsted County Court where he was scheduled to stand trial next week.
31-year-old Nicholas Keller entered an Alford plea to a 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, which is a gross misdemeanor. The Stewartville man was accused of molesting a young girl in 2016 while he was working for the School District's SACC program at Sunset Terrace Elementary School. The plea means he does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for him to be convicted of the charge. Keller may be sentenced to imprisonment for not more than one year or to a payment of a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.
The plea agreement was reached while the court was considering a request by the defense to have Keller in the courtroom when the young victim is scheduled to testify in court.
It also came a few days after the judge in the case agreed to allow testimony from other students and SACC workers who said they had either experienced or witnessed similar conduct by Keller. One is a former student who came forward after the 2016 case was filed. Keller was also charged in her case but it was dismissed by the state Appeals Court because it was filed too late.