The Journal Gazette
Friday, October 16, 2020 1:00 am

Ex-teacher takes plea deal

To admit guilt in molesting girl at charter school

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

A former Fort Wayne teacher accused of molesting a student has agreed to plead guilty.

Eric M. Gerdes, 40, is scheduled to plead guilty to felony sexual misconduct with a minor next week in Allen Superior Court. Other charges of sexual misconduct, child molesting, vicarious sexual gratification and dissemination of matter harmful to minors will be dismissed, according to a plea agreement filed Tuesday.

The abuse happened at Imagine Master Academy – a charter school that closed in 2013 – between 2011 and 2013, charging documents say. The girl at one point was 13 years old.

Gerdes “made the victim” perform sex acts “several times in his classroom during the aforementioned time frame,” Detective Delonzo Myles wrote in a probable cause affidavit. 

Gerdes was charged in February and was working at the time as a gym teacher at a middle school in Huntington.

Chad Daugherty, superintendent of Huntington County Community School Corporation, told The Journal Gazette then that Gerdes had been suspended. Daugherty declined to comment Thursday, saying the matter is a personnel issue.

An Oct. 22 change-of-plea hearing is scheduled, and Gerdes faces up to eight years behind bars.

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