UPDATE: Charges filed against former FPS staff member alleging inappropriate conduct with minor

Ben Franklin Middle School
Ben Franklin Middle School(KVLY)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 5:55 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 4:22 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Eight months after school officials and police opened up an investigation on a former Fargo Public School employee, charges have been filed in the case.

Ruthie Carlson has been charged in Cass County Court with five felonies including gross sexual imposition, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, possession of prohibited material, child neglect and possession of drugs. A warrant is out for Carlson’s arrest.

Officials confirm with Valley News Live some of the charges do stem from her time with the district as a lunch supervisor. In-depth details on Carlson’s charges are sealed until Carlson is in custody.

Valley News Live spoke to the alleged victim in the case and his mother, Shenita Esaw Wednesday who say they are ‘overwhelmed’ at the possibility of justice being served.

“I thought she got away with it. I’m so happy,” the alleged victim told Valley News Live over the phone Wednesday.

Carlson was fired as the lunch supervisor due to inappropriate conduct with a student that was captured and posted on social media, according to Fargo Public School documents.

Esaw says she remembers the December phone call from FPS officials like it was yesterday.

“(The principal) said, ‘Shenita, out of my whole practice, I have never dealt with this in my whole entire life,’” Esaw recalled in a May interview with Valley News Live.

Esaw says she was told a Snapchat video had come to officials’ attention which showed Esaw’s 14-year-old son, wearing only boxers, brushing his teeth next to Carlson, who Esaw says was in a t-shirt and no pants.

“And it said, ‘Good morning, p******,’” Esaw said.

Carlson’s termination letter states she originally denied knowing about the snapchat video, but later admitted the opposite.

“This lady has manipulated my son,” Esaw said.

Esaw says the trauma Carlson has brought to both her son and her family is insurmountable, and she says she worries her son will never be the same.

“It doesn’t matter, boy or girl, it just doesn’t matter,” she cried.

She says she vows to continue to be a voice for her son, and won’t stop until the wheels of justice turn in her family’s favor.

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