UPDATE: Former Fargo school staffer pleads guilty to having sexual relationship with teen boy

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 3:21 PM CDT|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 11:00 AM CST
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A former employee of Fargo Public Schools has pleaded guilty in Cass County Court after investigators found she had an extensive relationship with a middle school boy.

20-year-old Ruthie Anne Carlson was originally charged with gross sexual imposition, promoting a sexual performance by a minor, possession of child porn, drug possession with intent to deliver, and child neglect. Carlson pleaded guilty to three of those charges Tuesday. Both the promoting a performance and possession of child porn charges were dismissed by prosecutors.

Court documents say the Principal at Ben Franklin Middle School in Fargo contacted Fargo Police after learning about a Snapchat video circulating at school which showed a shirtless 14-year-old boy brushing his teeth, then panning over to show Carlson with bare legs and wearing just a t-shirt.

Carlson was contacted by Superintendent Rupak Gandhi about the video, as it possibly violated the district’s policy. Carlson was told not to report to work until the school could investigate. She was later fired by the district

Fargo Police say Carlson became upset when they informed her investigators would be seizing her phone. Documents say after a video was discovered on Carlson’s phone involving her two-year-old child, a narcotics search warrant was issued for Carlson’s address. Officers reported finding a large quantity of THC vape cartridges and marijuana paraphernalia, and noted that the drugs were accessible to the toddler.

Once authorities had possession of Carlson’s phone, documents say investigators found videos, pictures and “alarming things” in relation to Carlson having a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old student. Conversations found on Carlson’s phone also document her keeping her relationship with the teen secret and talking about her getting pregnant, documents allege.

Carlson will be sentenced on March 20.