Former teacher accused of sexual abuse

Supplied alcohol to teen in 2012

By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

MONTEZUMA — A former Montezuma High School teacher who resigned in 2012 after admitting to supplying alcohol to a teenage boy is now accused of having sexual contact with two minors.

According to the Iowa Department of Public Safety, on June 14, 2014, the Poweshiek County Sheriff’s Office was notified that 28-year-old Derek J. Bates had engaged in sexual activity with two minors. An investigation into the allegations — which included interviews with both minors who were present for the alleged abuse — showed that between March 2012 and July 2012, Bates had sexual contact with both minors.

At the time, Bates was an English teacher at Montezuma High School. Bates is a 2004 graduate of Montezuma High School and graduated from Grinnell College in 2008. He was hired as a long-term social studies substitute in 2009 and taught English for three years, as well as leading the school’s drama department and speech team, according to a 2012 Gazette article.

Both of Bates’ alleged victims were students within the school district. The sexual activity, however, did not take place at the school or on school grounds. Poweshiek County Sheriff Thomas Kriegel declined to provide any further information.

“I’m not going to say (where the abuse took place),” Kriegel said. “It was not at the school.”

Bates was charges on Oct. 1, 2012 with providing alcohol to a person under the legal age and consuming alcohol on public school property. He resigned from the school just before being charged.

According to police, Bates provided whiskey to a 17-year-old at the high school on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 at the school. Both Bates and the teen got drunk at the school. Bates became so intoxicated he was hospitalized. He admitted to supplying alcohol to the teen, authorities said. Court records indicate Bates pleaded guilty to possession of alcohol on school property, a simple misdemeanor, in that case.

Court records also indicate that in June 2013, Bates was charged with four counts of third-degree sexual abuse, five counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, indecent contact with a child and two counts of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse. Bates has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go to trial Dec. 9.

For the recent allegations, Bates has been accused of two counts of third-degree sexual abuse and one count of pattern, practice or scheme to engaged in sexual exploitation by a school employee.

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