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Jarrin Boucher

Fisher High School senior faces three more charges of sexual assault

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Enterprise
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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

FISHER, Minn. - A senior at Fisher High School already accused of sexual assault on a kindergartener was in juvenile court in Crookston on Monday, accused of sexual assaults on another kindergartener.

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Jarrin Dean Boucher, 18, was initially charged May 1 with first-degree and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in state District Court for inappropriately touching a 6-year-old girl in a Fisher kindergarten classroom on April 25.

He is now charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for inappropriately touching a 5-year-old girl in the same kindergarten classroom from October 2011 to mid-February 2012. Boucher would have been 17 then -- he turned 18 on April 15 -- so those charges were filed in juvenile court Thursday.

"It's a sad situation," said Superintendent Don Blaeser. He has met with parents of children from that class after the first set of charges was filed, but he said not since.

On Monday, prosecutor Joe Judd sought to have Boucher tried as an adult. Because Boucher was close to 18 at the time of the alleged crime and the serious nature of the allegations, Judd said the burden is on Boucher to prove public safety is better served to have the charges settled in juvenile court.

Boucher is in the Tri-County jail in Crookston on $250,000 bond. If tried as an adult, Boucher could face up to 20 years for each of the new counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

The criminal complaint said initially during an interview on April 27, Boucher denied touching the 6-year-old. He eventually admitted to sexually assaulting both the 6-year-old and 5-year-old girls while in the class, according to the complaint.

A Crookston resident who went to school in Fisher, Boucher had been assisting the kindergarten teacher as part of a youth service program. Seniors earn class credit for the work.

On April 30, a deputy from the Polk County Sheriff's Department interviewed the mother of the 5-year-old, who said her daughter never told her she had been touched by Boucher.

Later that day, a child protection worker did a forensic interview with the girl, who said he touched her, but not inappropriately.

On May 1, the girl's mother told deputies the girl reported she had been touched during math and nap time. She told her mother that Boucher put his hand under her clothing and she tried to stop him with her hand, according to the complaint.

The complaint said he moved her hand with his other hand and she said she was too scared to tell him to stop.

Blaeser said the future of the youth service program will likely be determined this summer, although he expects it to be retained in some form.

"We've talked about some things we can do to strengthen it as far has having conversations with students as far as expectations," he said. "It'll continue probably, the question is what grades will it continue in."

He said no action has been taken against Bonnie Nygren, the teacher of the kindergarten class, but there is an investigation into the circumstances in the classroom surrounding the alleged assaults.

Blaeser said he has not heard of any more possible victims.

"Like anybody, I hope there aren't anymore, but who knows," he said. "I guess that's a question you'd have to ask the sheriff's department. Everything we knew, which was pretty limited, was turned over to them. They've done the investigation."

Boucher isn't due in state District Court until Aug. 17 for an omnibus hearing, where attorneys for both sides will enter any motions. The court is expected to decide then if he will be tried as an adult.

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