James M. Hoeltje, the Gateway High School Band director, has been terminated from his position and charged with furnishing alcohol to minors.
James M. Hoeltje, the now former Gateway High School band director, is facing a charge of selling or furnishing alcohol to minors.
The community grew suspicious when a letter was sent out from Superintendent William Short on August 7th announcing the delay of the high school marching band camp, which was supposed to start on August 8.
Parent’s received a follow-up correspondence from the superintendent on Monday with the update that a criminal complaint has been filed against Hoeltje.
The Gateway Band Boosters also released a statement, saying there are “aware of information based on Dr. Short’s email, We are grateful that the District is looking out for the best interest of our children, and we fully support our children and the band. We ask that the media respect our children’s privacy during this time.
The complaint states, that an 18-year-old described to police several incidents involving Hoeltje that began back in January. The teen was a Gateway student at the time. She told police Hoeltje shared his family struggles with her and that he referred to the teen as his best friend.
The teen alleges that they both drank vodka and whiskey before he allegedly attempted to kiss her. As she went to leave, the complaint alleged Hoeltje grabbed the teen’s buttocks and asked her to come back later. The teen told police he remained in contact with her following graduation. She said she was concerned for a juvenile female friend who is currently in high school with Hoeltje.
It doesn’t end there though.
In May, the complaint alleges, Hoeltje provided the teen with vodka the day before prom.
Hoeltje has not been charged with any sexual offenses.
The teen said Hoeltje gave her his cell phone number in the summer of 2021 and that they began texting and communicating through Snapchat in January. The teen said some of the conversations were sexual in nature, according to the criminal complaint.
According to the complaint, Hoeltje said he may have accidentally touched the teen’s bottom while reaching for the door handle. He denied that he attempted to kiss the teen.
Police also said Hoeltje admitted to purchasing the vodka but said it was at the teen’s request.
Gateway School District made the news not long ago when an employee did not follow safety protocols and allowed a man into Ramsey Elementary School armed with a box cutter. Thanks to one of the students, not the staff, the principal was notified and the man was arrested 45 minutes after entering the school.
What is going on in that district?