Former cop sentenced for inappropriately touching 7 Minnesota high school students

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. — A former officer with the Cottage Grove Police Department in Minnesota was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for touching seven female students inappropriately while he was the assigned resource officer for Park High School.

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Adam Pelton, 42, of River Falls, Wisconsin, was also convicted of soliciting one of the teenagers several times for nude photos, the Star Tribune in Minneapolis reported.

According to the newspaper, Pelton pleaded guilty in March to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with incidents stretching from Sept. 1, 2018, until Oct. 4, 2019. He was sentenced Friday in Washington County District Court.

Pelton is expected to serve three years and four months in prison and the balance on supervised release, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported, noting he will also be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years.

Pelton, a licensed law enforcement officer since 2009, began working as a school resource officer at Park High School during the 2018-19 school year, a position he previously held at Cottage Grove Middle School beginning in January 2017, the Star Tribune reported.

The Cottage Grove Police Department fired Pelton in September 2021, according to the newspaper.

The Apple Valley Police Department was asked to investigate after several students reported “inappropriate sexual contact” by Pelton, stating that he repeatedly hugged them without their consent and touched their buttocks over their clothes, the criminal complaint stated.

According to prosecutors, three of the students were between the ages of 13 and 15 and four were between the ages of 16 and 17 at the time of the incidents, the Pioneer Press reported.

Pelton apologized to his victims prior to Friday’s sentencing, the newspaper reported.

“I’m sorry to everyone I hurt and everything you’ve gone through with your interactions with me. I’m truly sorry,” he said.

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