A fourth-grade Aitkin teacher, who also helped coach the junior varsity and varsity girls softball and basketball teams, has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a high school student.
Kristy Lynn Hoge, 24, was removed from her teaching job last week when district officials learned she was charged with four felonies in the complaint filed May 4. Hoge, who played softball for the University of Minnesota-Morris, began teaching in her hometown last fall.
According to the complaint, a 17-year-old girl told investigators that she and Hoge developed a friendship soon after the girl went to her for coaching advice. The girl said the relationship eventually became more intimate and the two met at least a half-dozen times, including twice at Hoge’s home and several times at the local cemetery.
The girl’s mother was first informed about the relationship last week when a coach told her that “some of the coaches had concerns.”
The mother told investigators that in March, her daughter suggested Hoge spend the night at the family’s home while the parents were on vacation. The mother told her daughter that would be inappropriate. The daughter later told her that Hoge had spent three nights and slept in the girl’s bed.
About 40 minutes after investigators contacted Hoge to come to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning, they received a report about a suicide attempt with a possible throat injury. Investigators said Hoge unsuccessfully tried to roll her car by driving off the road. She then grabbed a filet knife and slashed her throat. She was taken to Riverwood Healthcare Center and put on a 72-hour hold.
She was later taken to jail and was released the next day.
Superintendent Bernie Novak confirmed that Hoge helped coach the girls junior varsity and varsity softball teams in the small district, which has about 1,200. The criminal complaint said she helped coach the girls’ basketball teams.