- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The sexual misconduct trial of former North Dakota teacher of the year Aaron Knodel (kah-NOH’-dehl) has begun.

The 36-year-old West Fargo High School English teacher is accused of engaging in a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student over a period of several weeks in early 2009. He’s pleaded not guilty to five counts of felony corruption or solicitation of a minor.

On Tuesday, prosecutor Jon Byers presented his opening arguments after a jury was chosen.

KFGO-AM reports Byers told the jury that the student and Knodel had sexual contact when she was a senior, and Knodel ended their relationship after his wife read a text message the student had sent him.

The student is expected to testify during the trial.

Knodel was named the 2014 North Dakota teacher of the year before the allegations surfaced. He was suspended from his job without pay when the charges were filed last August.

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Information from: KFGO-AM, https://www.kfgo.com

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