A former teacher at a charter high school in St. Paul has been charged with having numerous sexual encounters with a student shortly after he was fired for paying too much attention to her.

Brandon M. Bunney, 41, of Savage, was charged in Ramsey County District Court last week with third-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with him having sex with the 16-year-old girl starting last year.

Bunney, who taught at Hmong College Prep Academy (HCPA), is scheduled to make his first court appearance on March 14. Court records do not list an attorney for him. A message was left with Bunney seeking his response to the allegations.

School officials released a statement Monday that read, "Mr. Bunney has not been employed with HCPA since last May, when he was let go. Our leadership has proactively cooperated with law enforcement throughout the process. HCPA conducts thorough background checks on all teachers and staff.

"HCPA asks that if any student or family member has concerns about an interaction or the conduct of Mr. Bunney they contact HCPA leadership or law enforcement."

According to the criminal complaint:

Rumors of an out-of-bounds relationship began to circulate around the school in the spring of 2023, prompting school officials to tell Bunney repeatedly to stop texting with the girl. The school then fired him in May.

Following his firing, Bunney began spending more time with the girl and sending sexually suggestive texts to her.

The girl told police they had sexual encounters in his car over the summer, then had sex at his home.

Bunney lived in Apple Valley at the time. Some of the encounters also occurred in St. Paul in the 1400 block of E. 6th Street.

Their meetups occurred numerous times all through the summer and into the fall, "and the sexual relationship is believed to be ongoing," prosecutors wrote in the complaint they filed Thursday.

During an interview with police on Feb. 6, Bunney admitted to "being intimate" with the girl over the summer but soon declined to offer further details.