Sexual exploitation allegations prompt investigation into former Iowa teacher

Iowa News

Kristopher Rollins (WHO 13)

DES MOINES, Iowa (WHO) – Police are investigating after allegations were reported a Des Moines Public Schools teacher, who died by suicide last week, had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 17-year-old.

The Des Moines Police Department confirms it is investigating after a human resources employee with DMPS contacted them on August 25 about teacher Kristopher Rollins. A case summary report reveals the employee had received a report from Central Campus Associate Principal Lisa Hill about alleged sexual exploitation by a school employee and failure to report child abuse.

The report provided by Hill alleged Rollins’ ex-wife Emily Lang, who was a teacher at Central Campus along with Rollins in 2019, came forward on August 19 to let the district know he had “a lengthy inappropriate sexual relationship” with a 17-year-old student.

Lang said she was aware of the relationship in 2019 but did not report it because she was asked not to.

Rollins and Lang were placed on administrative leave from DMPS on August 19.

Rollins died by suicide on August 20.

A community vigil was held on August 22 where hundreds of people came together to mourn Rollins’ loss and celebrate the impact of his work with RunDSM and Movement 515, a group he co-founded with Lang where students were allowed to express themselves through the arts like poetry and rap.

The day after the vigil, four of Movement 515’s organizers issued a statement on Instagram alleging Rollins abused a former student who had been involved with RunDSM.

“We are coming to you today with the heartbreaking news that the recently passed RunDSM Co-Founder Kristopher Rollins has been outed as a predator and groomer. Our organization was made aware the Kristopher was involved with a RunDSM and DMPS alumni. This on-going relationship began when this student was a minor. For her protection, she will not be named.”

Leah, Linda, Sarah, Jalesha — Movement 515

After being asked Friday why the school district waited to notify police of the allegations, DMPS spokesperson Phil Roeder said that the district does a preliminary investigation of its own to gather initial facts when it is notified of wrongdoing by an employee. When that is concluded, they may notify relevant agencies.

Roeder also confirmed that Emily Lang submitted her resignation to the district on August 24 and it was accepted by the school board on Thursday.

Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department now says investigators are looking into Lang’s knowledge of the alleged abuse.

“The Sexual Exploitation By a School Employee piece of the investigation will be closed due to the death of the offender. We will work to connect the victim with the appropriate resources, and be alert for additional victims. Detectives will investigate the potential complicity of his ex-wife,” Parizek said.

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