Watertown teacher accused of sexual contact with a minor

WATERTOWN, S.D.(KXLG)- The Watertown School District has just sent out a communication to parents regarding an incident involving an instructor at the Watertown High School who engaged in sexual activity with a student.

The press release and messages to parents do not indicate the individual.

Jordan Bakken, 32, of Watertown, is an English teacher with the Watertown School; according to case file documents, he was arrested on January 25, 2024, for 4th-degree rape of a victim under the age of 16 and older than 13, solicitation of a minor, and sexual contact with a child under the age of 18 by a person in authority. The complaint in the case was filed yesterday, January 25, 2024.

Bakken is currently being held at the Brookings County Detention Center on a $40,000 cash-only bond filed on January 25, 2024.

Further research confirmed in a filed complaint court document Bakken engaged in sexual contact with a minor female approximately 15 years old on or around January 12 – 13, 2024.

A probable cause affidavit was signed by South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation Special Agent Tasha Vohlken, assigned to Watertown, SD, stating that the parents became aware of inappropriate messages between Debate/Soccor Coach Jordan Bakkan and the minor. It is noted in the interviews that the minor left her home to drive around with Bakken to a cabin near Gettysburg and told the parents that they had a gun with them and Bakken was suicidal. They met the minor’s parents in Redfield, where she got in the parents’ vehicle and tried to “talk him down.” The mother called the Police, and the Police made contact with Bakken.

When asked, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Danielsen said, “As of this morning, I cannot confirm the name of the individual.”

The press release from the Watertown School District is below:

“Earlier this week, we became aware of an investigation by the Department of Criminal Investigations (DCI) involving one of our high school staff members. This investigation focused on an inappropriate relationship with a student at Watertown High School. We have no information to believe that this staff member was involved with more than a single student. We strongly condemn the actions of this individual and regret this incident happened. The Watertown School District wants you to know that we make our students’ safety and well-being of the utmost importance.

Per last evening, the employee has been placed on administrative leave, and has resigned pending board approval. The employee will no longer be allowed on school grounds. This will be effective immediately, and we will begin a search for a replacement.”