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Duluth teacher pleads guilty to sexual assault

DULUTH — A Minnesota middle school teacher admitted Friday, Oct. 5, to sexually assaulting a 15-year-old former student.

Karla Jean Winterfeld, 33, pleaded guilty in State District Court to a felony charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. She did so without the benefit of any plea agreement, telling Judge David Johnson that she understood she is facing a presumptive prison sentence.

A criminal complaint states that Winterfeld confessed to committing multiple sex acts with the victim between May 4-19. Investigators said they also recovered video recordings, photographs, text messages and other evidence supporting the allegations.

Winterfeld was asked only vaguely about the allegations in entering the plea. She cried throughout the hearing.

“We engaged in sexual penetration,” she acknowledged.

Johnson scheduled sentencing for Nov. 16. She remains free on bond.