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      Former teacher arraigned on criminal sexual conduct charges

      Neal Haviland Erickson

      Eight grade science teacher Neal Erickson at Rose City Middle School has been arraigned on first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

      According to Ogemaw County Prosecuting Attorney LaDonna Schultz, Neal Haviland Erickson has been charged and arraigned on three counts which carries a maximum life sentence if convicted.

      In October, Michigan State Police said they got an anonymous tip that Erickson sexually abused an eighth grade student years ago.

      "Police came across a picture of a male minor with his genitalia exposed," said Schultz. According to her, investigators linked the picture to a boy who had attended Rose City Middle School in 2006.

      "He admitted that it was him, he admitted he took the photograph and when they asked for what purpose he took the photograph, he said it was for my teacher," said Schultz.

      Erickson allegedly engaged in oral sex with the student. The victim was between the ages 13-16 years old at the time.

      The charges against Erickson include one count of distributing sexually explicit, verbal or visual matter to a minor, one count of possession of child sexually abusive material, and using a computer to commit a felony.

      Bond has been set at $100,000.

      The superintendent of West Branch-Rose City schools, Dan Cwayna sent a district wide emergency alert to parents. He believes the victim was too afraid to speak out and hopes to create an environment where that never happens again.

      " We ask that our students to come forward with any concerns. Ee ask our parents to come forward with anything that happens in the classroom or hallways," said Cwayna.

      Erickson is on paid administrative leave.