Two sets of charges dismissed, ex-Rochester school employee still to stand trial

By Mike Bunge

Mon Sep 10 13:26:10 PDT 2018

ROCHESTER, Minn. – Some sex crime charges against a former employee at Sunset Terrace Elementary School have been dismissed, but a trial is still scheduled for November.

Nicholas Gerald Keller, 30 of Stewartville, was arrested in September 2017 and charged with 2nd degree criminal sexual conduct and eight counts of possession of child pornography. He was accused of having sexual contact with a second grade student between September 2016 and May 2017, as well as having pornographic images of young girls on a computer system.

After those charges were made public, another person came forward and accused Keller of having sexual contact with them between November 2006 and August 2008 while they were under 13 and Keller was employed by School Aged Child Care in Rochester. The victim in that case was first contacted by Rochester police in 2011 but refused to talk about the sexual abuse at that time.

Keller challenged the second charge of criminal sexual conduct, saying since the victim was first contacted by law enforcement in 2011, the statute of limitations had run out and he could not be prosecuted. A judge agreed and dismissed that charge. Prosecutors appealed but the Minnesota Court of Appeals on Monday upheld that dismissal.

The child porn charges against Keller were also dismissed in April 2018 after it was determined the images were not actually child pornography.

Keller trial on the initial accusation is still set to begin on November 26 in Olmsted County District Court.