Former AL teacher facing charges in sexual exploitation case

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) -- Frederick “Mark” Mendell, 56, a former band teacher at Council Bluffs Abraham Lincoln High School, has been arrested in connection with an alleged improper relationship with a 17-year-old student.

In late March 2019, the Council Bluffs Police Department began an investigation.

On Thursday, Mendell was arrested by Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s deputies, at his home, on a warrant charging him with two counts of Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee. Mendell is no longer an employee of the CB School District.

The female, 17, has met all the requirements to graduate and is no longer attending classes.

During the course of the investigation, it was learned that Mendell and the student exchanged messages, professing their love for each other.

The student told a CBPD detective that she and Mendell went on an overnight college visit together, sleeping in the same hotel room. She also stated that their relationship had been sexual in nature, with some of the sex acts taking place inside A.L. High School, while she was a student and he was her band teacher.

Iowa law establishes 16 years old as the age of consent to engage in sex, but State law also prohibits school employees from having any sexual contact with students, regardless of the age of the student.