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Retired Slinger band teacher accused of sexually assaulting a student nearly 2 decades ago

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- A retired Slinger High School band teacher is facing sexual assault charges.

66-year-old David Hanke of Slinger faces one count of sexual assault of a student by school staff -- a felony charge.

According to a criminal complaint, the victim in this case is now 34 years old. The alleged sexual assault occurred when the victim was a student at Slinger High School and Hanke was her band teacher.

Hanke has been retired from Slinger High School since 2012. He worked at the school for 37 years.

David Hanke

David Hanke

"We are deeply troubled," Daren Sievers, Slinger Schools superintendent said.

The complaint indicates the victim told investigators in either 1999 or 2000, when she was 16 or 17 years old, she was invited to Hanke's home on Highway 175 in Hartford after school. The alleged victim indicated Hanke offered her beer, which she drank, and they talked -- with Hanke eventually inviting her to take a look at the basement.

David Hanke

David Hanke

In the basement, the complaint says the victim told investigators Hanke offered to give her a back massage. The victim said Hanke suggested she remove her shirt and bra so "he could provide a proper massage." She said she "felt awkward" and "didn't know what to do."

She said she was lying on her stomach and Hanke was "straddled over her, giving her a massage."

She told investigators the massage quickly turned into inappropriate touching, according to the complaint. The victim said she "froze." She said "she was so scared and she did not know what to do."

The victim told investigators she recalls standing in Hanke's driveway, and him making some sort of statement about their "circle of trust." The victim said she remembers that she "could not get out of there fast enough."

Slinger High School

Slinger High School

According to the complaint, the victim said she never spoke of this again until college. She said she and Hanke never spoke about what happened, and "acted as if nothing had happened between them." The victim told investigators she "didn't want to ruin her friendship with Hanke," but she said she "didn't trust Hanke" and "never returned to his home."

In late October or early November of 2001, the victim told investigators Hanke came to visit her at college. She said Hanke took her out to dinner and "provided her with cocktails." The victim said she was "very drunk" and thought Hanke would be taking her back to her dorm, but he instead took her to a hotel, according to the complaint. The victim said it was "awkward" and she "just wanted to go home." She said she found some people to hang out with for a bit, but eventually found herself back with Hanke, who was apparently upset she was hanging out with other people. The victim said she eventually laid down on the bed in the hotel room and pretended to sleep.

That's when the victim said Hanke touched her inappropriately again, according to the complaint.

Slinger High School

Slinger High School

The complaint says when the victim was startled by Hanke's touching, he immediately stopped, and the next morning, he acted as though nothing had happened. The victim said after this, she never spoke with Hanke again.

According to the complaint, in 2004 or 2005, the victim wrote an anonymous email to the Slinger High School principal. She said she wished to remain anonymous, so she did not respond to an email from Slinger High School officials requesting her name.

In 2016, the victim told investigators she sent another email to the principal -- this time including her name and the specific allegations.

Slinger Schools officials told FOX6 News they have no record of taking any action in 2004 or 2005, when that first email was apparently sent.

Slinger Schools officials said Hanke worked at Slinger High School from 1975 through 2012. After that, he worked as a substitute, but hasn't since school district officials learned of the allegations against him.

"One of the things we pride ourselves on in Slinger is providing an optimum educational experience and a safe educational experience and to hear this news goes against everything we stand for. Mr. Hanke has been a colleague for many years and a beloved member of the faculty, so it`s very hard to hear these accusations against a former colleague," Sievers said.

There could be more victims in this case. Officials with the Washington County District Attorney's Office said another potential victim has reached out to them.

6 comments

      • Melanie

        Well good. I feel like there shouldn’t be a limitation no matter what the age, but I’m glad it doesn’t exist for minors. Hopefully she can get some justice after all this time. I’m not sure why she would agree to dinner and drinks after saying the first encounter at his home was traumatic for her, but I’m not in her shoes and don’t know all the details so I have no right to judge…

  • Jon

    Wow, I am amazed I was a student here from 2010 to 2014 and I knew Mr. Hanke a d I can’t believe he could do something like this, just wow…

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