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Police hand over Proctor student misconduct case to St. Louis County Attorney's Office

According to a news release, the county attorney's office will conduct a thorough and careful review of the evidence before making any decisions regarding charges.

The logo for the Proctor athletic teams hangs on a building containing the concession stands and entrance gates seen during homecoming activities at Terry Egerdahl Field in Proctor on Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

The St. Louis County Attorney's Office announced Monday afternoon it has received a referral from the Proctor Police Department following the recent criminal investigation involving some members of the Proctor High School football team.

According to a news release, the county attorney's office will conduct a thorough and careful review of the evidence before making any decisions regarding charges.

"The county attorney’s office is aware of the community’s interest and desire to see timely results of the criminal investigation," a news release said. "The charging decisions will be made carefully and without undue delay. Given the amount of evidence to review, it is impossible to commit to a specific timeline."

Assistant County Attorney Ben Stromberg told the News Tribune last week that once the file and requested charges are handed over to the county attorney's office, they will decide whether there is sufficient evidence to file a juvenile delinquency petition or citation, depending on the level of the offense, he said.

According to Stromberg, the length of time it takes to make a decision on charges can vary from a few hours to several months, depending on the circumstances of the case.


Football activities for Proctor players in grades 9-12 were canceled in September.

Proctor Police Chief Kent Gaidis told the News Tribune last week the incident was reported to the police department Sept. 16 at 2:05 p.m. In an interview with Fox 21, former head coach Derek Parendo claimed the incident happened while he was watching his daughter play in a soccer game in Cloquet. The Proctor soccer team's only game in Cloquet this season was Sept. 8.

Parendo is on a paid personal leave of absence until the end of the 2021-22 school year, when his resignation will take effect.

Proctor Public Schools Superintendent John Engelking confirmed the investigation in an email to news outlets Sept. 22 and said the district is cooperating with police.

A week after the news emerged that the team was under investigation, the school district announced the rest of the program's 2021 games are canceled. In an email to parents Sept. 29, the district said the “alleged serious misconduct” led to the decision to end the season.

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