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Akiachak teacher arrested for sexual abuse of a minor after police say he abused one of his students

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Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 5:18 PM AKDT
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Content Warning: This article contains information about alleged sexual assault that might be difficult for some readers.

AKIACHAK, Alaska (KTUU) - A 48-year-old Akiachak man and teacher has been arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a minor, stemming from an August incident in which authorities claim he abused one of his students at his home.

John Hammonds, a teacher at the Akiachak School in the Yupiit School District, faces four counts of first-degree sexual abuse of a minor, and four counts of second-degree sexual abuse of a minor.

Alaska State Troopers received a report Saturday around 3 p.m. from the victim’s grandmother. An interview with the minor revealed that Hammonds allegedly sexually abused the child in August while they were staying at his home, according to an affidavit in the charging documents. The affidavit also states that in September, Hammonds told the child to take their pants off while at school, while they were alone in his classroom.

According to the affidavit, the child did not comply and left the classroom. That incident is not tied to the sexual abuse charges Hammonds now faces.

Yupiit School District Superintendent George Ballard said via email on Wednesday that the district “is aware that there are allegations against a teacher” and that it is cooperating with troopers in Bethel. He did not specify whether Hammonds is still employed by the district.

“The Yupiit School District continuously strives to create a safe and supportive learning environment for our students, it is our most critical responsibility as we serve our students and communities,” the statement read.

Troopers interviewed Hammonds in Akiackak, and according to the affidavit he denied being alone with the victim while they were in his home and also denied the incident at the school.

Following the interview, Hammonds was remanded to Yukon Kuskokwim Correctional Center on the sexual abuse charges.

Troopers are asking the public to please call 907 543-2294 if they have any additional information. If they wish to remain anonymous, they can submit tips via the “AKtips” smartphone app, or online at https://dps.alaska.gov.AST/tips.

If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, resources are available on the Standing Together Against Rape (STAR) website or by calling the statewide crisis hotline at 1-800-478-8999.

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