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Former Dakota County teacher charged with sexual misconduct

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Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom has charged a former high school music teacher with three felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct.

  The investigation began with text messages between Christine Lee Funk, a music teacher at Henry Sibley High School in Mendota Heights, and a 17-year-old student.

  Investigators say those messages suggested Funk and the student had engaged in sexual relations.

  Under questioning, the student later admitted to having sexual relations with Funk on at least three occasions in February of this year.  

"Crimes of this nature represent a significant abuse of authority and violates the trust of students, parents, and the community have the right to expect of teachers," Backstrom said in a statement.

  Under Minnesota law, it's 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.

  Funk was placed on administrative leave from the school during the investigation.  

She made her initial court appearance on these charges this week.