Former La Crosse School District employee sentenced to prison

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A former part-time show choir teacher in the La Crosse school district learned his sentence on Monday after pleading guilty to five counts of sexual assault of a child under 16.

Judge Todd Bjerke sentenced Dustin Bagstad to eight years in prison, followed by 32 years of extended supervision.

In front of a packed courtroom, multiple victims spoke to the judge of the effects Bagstad’s actions made on their lives.

La Crosse County District Attorney Tim Gruenke says Monday’s sentence is a validation for those victims.

“When they first reported this to people, some people within the school were not very nice to them and felt like they were making it up and he couldn’t of done this. So I think now they feel validated that they did the right thing by coming forward, it was serious, he did do it and it wasn’t a case of them just making something up,” said Gruenke.

Bagstad was arrested and charged with 19 felonies in December of 2017.

He pleaded guilty to five of the charges last December.

The remaining 14 charges were read in and dismissed.

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