Retired Slinger band teacher accused of sexually assaulting student

Woman says incident happened when she was 16

A retired Slinger High School band teacher was charged Wednesday with the sexual assault of one of his former students.

According to the criminal complaint, a former student claims David Hanke touched her without her consent in 1999 or 2000.

Officials with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office say their department and other agencies have received numerous calls of "inappropriate behavior" by Hanke since he was charged Wednesday.

Slinger School District superintendent Daren Sievers said those allegations also involve former students.

The woman says she was 16 when Hanke invited her to his home after school, gave her a beer, took her to the basement and started giving her a back massage.

She says he asked her to "remove her shirt and bra so he could provide a proper massage," which she did so "hesitantly" because she "felt very awkward and didn't quite know what to do." Hanke allegedly began to massage her breasts and told her to keep it in their "circle of trust," the woman told authorities.

The woman says the two remained friends after the incident but never spoke of it. She said Hanke wrote her a letter of recommendation during her senior year for the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, which she attended.

She claims Hanke visited her at the school in 2001, took her to a fancy restaurant, and got her drunk. She says he then took her back to her hotel and tried to initiate sexual contact in his room, according to the criminal complaint. 

The woman says she wrote an anonymous letter to Slinger's principal in 2004 or 2005 warning him about Hanke, and last year wrote a letter to the school disclosing her name and what happened.

Hanke was a substitute teacher at the time. 

"The minute that she identified herself to us in May we turned it over to authorities and immediately told Mr. Hanke that he could no longer sub for us," Sievers said.

Hanke is charged with one count of sexual assault of a student by school staff. 

Sievers sent a letter home to parents Thursday explaining an investigation is underway.

Slinger High School has a nationally recognized band program. The students played at President George Bush's inauguration, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor and London's New Years celebration all under Hanke's leadership.

"Our band is high profile because of him," Sievers said.

"It's very troubling to wrap my head around the fact that student would have potentially have gone through something he is accused of doing." 

Some parents aren't sure if they believe it.

"There's always two sides to the story on everything so until I hear more I will make a decision at that point," said Jeff Hetchler, whose son attends Slinger High School.

Authorities say anyone with information about criminal activity involving Hanke should call 262-335-4411.

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