La Crescent Montessori teacher arrested for sexual misconduct

A La Crescent Montessori Academy teacher was arrested for two counts of criminal sexual misconduct Jan. 18 for alleged incidents involving at least three young female students.

Jason David Barker, 37 of Winona, has been charged with one count of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree for unlawful sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13 and one count of criminal sexual conduct in the fifth degree for nonconsensual sexual contact with a female student under the age of 13.

According to court records, a student told authorities Barker touched her buttocks and breasts on several occasions and made her sit on his lap over a four month period.

Barker was hired as the school’s full-time special education director in September and had previously held a part-time substitute teaching position at the school. His criminal record includes misdemeanor burglary, a drug charge and felony damage to property. Barker faces a maximum of 26 years in prison and/or $36,000 in fines. He will  appear in Houston County District Court today, Feb. 6.