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Duluth police investigate former Harbor City, St. Scholastica school employee in sex assault case

A former Harbor City International School employee has been accused of sexually assaulting at least one former student.

Duluth police are investigating two reports of suspected criminal sexual conduct involving females and a teacher, according to information released by police following a public records request. One alleges the assault happened over a period of several years.

On Thursday, Harbor City executive director Paul McGlynn confirmed the school received a report of one such allegation. The employee left the school about four years ago and as of Thursday no longer works for the College of St. Scholastica, where he was most recently employed. While the incident allegedly happened several years ago, McGlynn said, the initial complaint to the school was made in December.

“It’s been taken very seriously from the beginning,” he said, noting the state education department, the school’s board and Duluth police were contacted after officials first learned of the allegations.

McGlynn, who started with the school this month, has redoubled efforts, he said, again reporting the incident to the Minnesota Department of Education’s student maltreatment department and Duluth police. He also retained legal counsel to privately investigate the matter.

Harbor City parent John Paul, who has a sophomore at the school and is familiar with the situation, said it seemed the school earlier in the year was slow to handle the issue.

“The new director is trying to get on top of it,” he said, noting he was happy there would be staff training in the fall.

McGlynn confirmed that more intense mandatory reporting training would be given to staff members and once he’s able to share more information that he would reach out to parents about what happened.

“Safety is an absolute top priority,” he said, cautioning the case is still being investigated. “We have allegations.”

The News Tribune is withholding the name of the suspect pending the official filing of charges.