A Nikiski Middle High School music teacher has been placed into custody, facing allegations of sexual abuse involving a female student.
According to charging documents, Jeremy Anderson, 36, is accused of performing sexual acts with a 15-year-old student over the course of several months. Court documents show Anderson faces seven counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, an unclassified felony.
School officials became aware of the situation on May 8 when the female student informed another teacher, according to charging documents. That teacher then brought the information to the high school principal, Daniel Carstens. When contacted, the teacher informed investigators the student had described multiple incidents of abuse.
The same day the student told officials, Alaska State Troopers informed Nikiski area residents to be on the lookout for a suicidal man who had visited a school in Nikiski, prompting a lockdown at Nikiski Middle High as well as Nikiski North Star Elementary School.
Kenai Peninsula Borough School District spokesperson Pegge Erkeneff released a statement confirming the person who was the subject of an investigation of inappropriate contact between a teacher and a student was the same suicidal person Troopers had been trying to locate. Erkeneff later confirmed the subject of both investigations was Anderson.
KPBSD also confirmed Troopers had attempted to contact Anderson around noon the same day.
Charging documents confirm investigators had contacted Anderson’s wife on May 8 around 4 p.m. at which point she stated that Anderson had called her and stated “that he had slept with a student and was going to a place that no one could find him and commit suicide.”
Troopers continued their search for Anderson at Nikiski High School and learned that Anderson had left the school in his vehicle, a dark red, extended cab 1998 Dodge Dakota with a dented driver's door. He advised his wife that he was going to commit suicide. According to a KPBSD statement, Anderson was then missing.
Troopers spokesperson Megan Peters explained Anderson hadn’t exactly disappeared, however.
“It’s not like we didn’t know where he was,” she said.
On June 5 around 11:26 a.m. Anderson was placed into custody by Troopers with assistance from Anchorage Police Department nearly a month after his disappearance following the school lockdowns. Peters noted Anderson was taken into custody after being discharged from an Anchorage hospital.
Erkeneff said Anderson was well liked within the school he taught. He began employment with the KPBSD in August 2012, and according to Erkeneff was still employed by the district, though she said he was on administrative leave.
“The district will look at due process, and will continue working with its human resources (department),” Erkeneff said. “With anything, especially something as significant as (Anderson’s allegations) – whether it is in the news or not – we look closely at our current regulations and determine if changes need to be made.”