Reid Sagehorn won't be charged for tweet about kissing a teacher

Categories: Education, Law
Sagehorn.jpg
Reid Sagehorn picture via Jacki V. Seniors
Reid Sagehorn remains suspended from Rogers High School, but the senior three-sport athlete and honors student won't face criminal charges for tweeting about kissing a young gym teacher.

THE BACKSTORY: Rogers school's suspension of Reid Sagehorn for Twitter joke sparks #FreeReid movement

"No charges will be filed related to this case as there is insufficient evidence of a criminal offense," a statement released by the Hennepin County Attorney's Office this afternoon says.

Reid maintains the since-deleted tweet was clearly meant in jest and shouldn't have been taken seriously by anyone, and students have rallied behind his cause with the #FreeReid social media movement. Investigators, however, have expressed little sympathy.

"We sent the case down for review by the county attorney," Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen told ECM Publishers earlier this week. "The case would be potentially criminal defamation. The student said something about a teacher that could have cost her career."

"The teacher is a victim, she's being harassed," he continued.

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.

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50 comments
Truth_Teller_1
Truth_Teller_1 topcommenter

I don't get the entire issue.   Reid posted a statement that could be construed as libelous.  I believe you get sued civilly for libel, the state does not prosecute.  No one gets arrested for libel.

So the kid says something dumb.   Maybe the school board felt it necessary to ask the teacher if it were a true statement.   If the teacher denies, then it's a done deal.

I can see no way that Reid should be suspended from the Government school, for an action that did not take place in school.   I find it ironic that a kid with good grades is suspended from school, where Minnesota is trying to get more kids to stay in school.

There is now this mantra about bullying.   Well Reid was certainly bullied, both by the school and the police - who both turned out to be fools.   It's amazing: Fools running the police and the school!

MrGasso
MrGasso

This kid looks like a model from one of those gay pornline ads at the back of CityPages. Rogers is an anal retentive Minnesota shithole full of dumbfucks of the lowest order. Yes you Are!

Jen King Johnson
Jen King Johnson

There is no joking when it comes to someone's career. Period. So continues the problems of the next generation. It's always someone else's fault. Kid or not, he needs to be taught a lesson hopefully others will learn from too there are and should be, consequences.

Derek Sailor
Derek Sailor

I would never teach school. If I said yes I did kiss Karla guimont haben. Should I be suspended from my job for 3 months? No. Your being ridiculous!

Terry Burnham Protivinsky
Terry Burnham Protivinsky

This is painful. All the way around. Unless you've been touched by a situation of this magnitude you will never understand the infinite damage endured by all involved. Please don't assume 'there's more to the story'.

Karla Guimont Haben
Karla Guimont Haben

Come and teach school sometime before you make statements like that...

Karla Guimont Haben
Karla Guimont Haben

She did NOTHING! So what if she's on Twitter or Facebook. She can't be? She isn't friends with her students. Nice job blaming the victim.

Serina Drake
Serina Drake

So the kid is fine. You think that teacher will be in the district next term??

Derek Sailor
Derek Sailor

Her career? What about his? Oh they have sympathy. That makes it better bs! FREE Reid! He's a kid. If she can't go through the correct channels to take care of it. Was it on school grounds? Maybe she should be off twitter and Facebook being in her position.

swmnguy
swmnguy topcommenter

Some job qualifications are so obvious they are assumed, and not spelled out explicitly in job descriptions.  One such is that to be a Chief of Police, or a Superintendent of Schools, you're expected to have better judgement that smart-assed teenagers.  Unfortunately, the  people who become Chiefs of Police and Superintendents of Schools tend to take written rules, and the omissions in them, very literally.


The only reason there was damage to the gym teacher's reputation is that the Superintendent and the Police department handled the sarcastic Tweets about as badly as they possibly could have.  They panicked and dragged the teacher through the mud when anybody with any sense could tell it was teenaged smart-assery.  Unfortunately, it had to get to the District Attorney, the ACLU, and the teachers' union before anybody with any sense got involved.


The Superintendent, when made aware of the Tweet, should have found out who set up the Twitter page, and if that was a student, expelled him or her on the spot.  Then suspend the Sagehorn kid for a finite amount of time; perhaps lengthy, but not this limbo.  Then support the teacher.  Then it's over.  


I'm guessing there's more to this story.  Maybe the teacher gives off the vibe of being lesbian, and that's the root of the teenaged haw-haw-haw jock joke?  Regardless, as a parent of teenagers, I remember what it was like to be that age, good and bad.  The criminalization of dumb-assery is not good for us. Nor is the knee-jerk "Zero-Tolerance," "Mandatory Reporting," "Mandatory Sentencing" repudiation of responsibility and reason so beloved by incompetent authoritarian types.  If we didn't have so many people like that in responsible positions, where they should never be, the teacher wouldn't have been harmed by this, and the kids would have learned a sharp lesson.  Instead, we have a mess.

Jennifer Dahn
Jennifer Dahn

Sarcasm has consequences too. This kid clearly needs to learn to keep his trap shut.

Deborah Fiscus
Deborah Fiscus

Listen up people...he didn't send the tweet...it was anonymous..he responded in a cheeky fashion. Read the story before condeming the kid.

Cliff Spab
Cliff Spab

Man it would suck to be a kid now days...

FritterSpeelBurn
FritterSpeelBurn

Chief Beahan is a fucking idiot.  Where in a million years would there be a chargeable offense in saying "yes, actually" unless it's in a confession.  Un fucking believable that this guy has a college degree and a job with such a POOR understanding of the law.

Jared Smith
Jared Smith

He should have never said it. Some things are not considered tasteful humor. He is not a victim and shouldnt be treated as such

sekelly121
sekelly121

Boy, I bet that teacher's attorney loves the police chief's uninformed and ill-advised comments and I bet the school district's attorney would like to muzzle him.

Beverly Gores
Beverly Gores

Now they should be this harsh when kids bully kids. Why do teachers get better justice then children.

Nina Person
Nina Person

Someone (parents & school district) doesn't know how to hold a child accountable. That teacher will have that "prank" on her record for life wherever she tries to teach at. A shame

Tim Stang
Tim Stang

good..you'd hate to see a kid get in trouble for ruining the good name of a teacher

pdunya13
pdunya13

The Chief of Police should also face consequences. He went to the media, falsely reporting that Sagehorn could face felony charges. When in fact, there is no law on the books in MN that are felonies when it comes to defamation. Yet, day after day, the Chief insisted to the media, falsely btw, that Sagehorn could become a felon. 

I am not condoning what Sagehorn did, and the school, whether people like it or not, are within their rights to expel Sagehorn if they want. But, the Chief, who was also defaming Sagehorn, faces no discipline.

dave548
dave548

Good question. He'll be unable to graduate on time, might very well lose scholarship money and have some extra trouble with college admission. The punishment is way out of proportion. This is happening to good kid who had a stellar reputation and was an excellent student.  Keep in mind that he wasn't charged with any crime  yet he's being punished like he did.  A few days of suspension would have been enough for school officials to make their point.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@swmnguy  Maybe the teacher gives off the vibe of being lesbian, and that's the root of the teenaged haw-haw-haw jock joke?..............It is a well known fact that if you are a female gym teacher you are probably a lesbian that gives off lesbian vibes. The gym teacher is probably a member of the Minnesota Lesbian Gym Teachers Association. 

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@swmnguy  Unfortunately, the  people who become Chiefs of Police and Superintendents of Schools tend to take written rules, and the omissions in them, very literally.....................How else should Chiefs of Police and Superintendents of Schools take written rules, and the omissions in them other than literally..........How else should they interpet the rules and omissions if not literally?  Should they interpet these rules as they see fit?

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@swmnguy  Qualifications for School Superintendent and Police Chief are not spelled out explicitly in job descriptions.................. Are you serious?Have you ever read the job descriptions for School Superintendent or Police Chief? How many Police Chief and School Superintendent positions have you applied for? What qualifications do you have to make a statement like that? My guess is ZERO.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@swmnguy  I'm guessing there's more to this story. But yet you go off on a  moronic rant without knowing all the facts. More of the same stupidity from swmnguy.

pdunya13
pdunya13

Agreed. 

But so does the Chief of Police. 

Talking about felonies when there is no such statute in MN that would make it a felony. 

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@FritterSpeelBurn  You sound like you are far more qualified to be Police Chief than Chief Beahan, Step up to the plate, talk  is cheap, you will have to leave your mom's basement to be Police Chief.  

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@sekelly121  So you have enough information to assume that the police chief made uninformed and ill advised comments. Please share your information with the Police Chief so he no longer makes uninformed and ill advised comments. Genius!

sekelly121
sekelly121

I would worry far more about the young man's record...he didn't post the salacious remarks to begin with and the teacher will probably never teach again but instead live off her lawsuit settlement. Nothing would be put in her " record" anyway...that in itself would be cause for a lawsuit.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

What should he press charges for. The school and the Police Chief were investigating what would have been a criminal offense.

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@pdunya13  So  now you have a law degree and you are qualified to state that the Chief of Police defamed this person. You should offer your legal services to this young man. 

jo1glex
jo1glex

@ron.fresquez  So, Keny, you're arguing that the cops and the Superintendent handled this situation perfectly?  You're arguing that common sense has no place in the decision-making of public officials?  Your argument has already been disproved by the District Attorney.  The Chief of Police said, over and over, that the kid would be facing felony charges.  Not just "charges;" he said "felony charges."  And now the DA has declined to press any charges at all.  So why would the Chief of Police have bothered to run to the press to make these baseless threats?  Because he knew he and the Superintendent had screwed up when they grilled the gym teacher over what was obviously frivolous comments on an anonymous slander web page.  He's covering his ass by making threats, which is what these people do often when they've wildly overstepped their authority by over-reacting and not using common sense.

pdunya13
pdunya13

@ron.fresquez @swmnguy  There is not one criminal statute in MN that is a felony that this case fits into. Not one. Guess how long it took me to find that info out? Less than one hour. I'm not a lawyer nor a police officer. Yet, I was able to ascertain that the chief knew not what he was talking about in one hour. Yet, he went on for days saying Sagehorn could face a felony. What Sagehorn did may have caused damage to the teacher, and maybe he deserves punishment from the school, or maybe not> Either way, that is within their rights. 

What we should not overlook is overzealous police activity. Ever. 

This chief, does not know the law. Yet, he goes public talking about how he is going to fry this kid, when in all actuality, he can't. 

So, tell me, what qualifications does the Chief have again?

pdunya13
pdunya13

@ron.fresquez @FritterSpeelBurn  The chief admitted that he was wrong, and that there was not a statute that would allow for a felony charge. The thing is, this happened only after days of him repeating that Sagehorn could face felony charges, over and over. It took me all of an hour to find out if there was even a crime that could be charged as a felony in this case. One hour. I'm not a lawyer or a police officer. Yet, I was able to find the resources to find out that there could not be a felony charge in this case in one hour. Soooooo yes, that would make myself, and many more like me more qualified in this instance that the Chief. End of story, period. 

sekelly121
sekelly121

Reid Sagehorn, whose apparently sarcastic two-word tweet and resulting seven-week suspension created a furor in the Elk River School District, plans to return to school today. But not at Rogers High School.

http://www.startribune.com/local/west/246805341.html

I guess I AM a genius. who'd a thunk?

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@jo1glex @ron.fresquez   So why would the Chief of Police have bothered to run to the press to make these baseless threats?  Because he knew he and the Superintendent had screwed up when they grilled the gym teacher over what was obviously frivolous comments on an anonymous slander web page...........................And you know this to be a fact because? Please tell us how you know this is a fact and not something you made up.  

pdunya13
pdunya13

@ron.fresquez @swmnguy  Ron, you didn't address the fact that he claimed a felony could be charged when it couldn't. Not only did he do this, he did it publicly. I wasn't doubting that he has been in his career for awhile, or was promoted in said career. I am doubting his knowledge of the law based on the FACT that he was so far off base on his claims, you would think it came from someone with little to no experience with the law. What say you?

ron.fresquez
ron.fresquez topcommenter

@pdunya13 @ron.fresquez @swmnguy  Str News May 29, 2012 at 11:27 am.............Beahen was Elk River’s chief from 2003 to 2010, when he left to accept a position with the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension in St. Paul. The selection came after an exhaustive nine-month-long process to redefine the position and select the best candidate............pdunya, tell us about the experience you have in selecting veteran police chiefs.


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