Former Shattuck-St Mary's drama teacher Lynn Seibel said he's innocent of charges that accuse him of molesting six boys between 1996 and 2003 at the Faribault, Minn., school.
Seibel, 71, once named teacher of the year, said he misses teaching and told Minnesota Public Radio in a jailhouse interview that he prays he will be acquitted and can return to acting in California.
Seibel's attorney, Rice County public defender James Martin, told MPR he may request the trial be held somewhere other than Faribault due to the local publicity. Faribault holds about 24,000 residents, and many of Shattuck-St. Mary's students and employees live in the town. The school overlooks the jail and courthouse, and Martin said it's important to remember that each person involved in the trial is a human being.
His next hearing is scheduled for April 10.
Seibel was a former "dorm parent" at Shattuck-St Mary's, living among the students between 1999-2003.
The investigation began after the Faribault Police Department contacted detectives in Los Angeles to seek help finding and interviewing Seibel because they were investigating claims he had touched teenage students during what he called "AP Drama sessions."
Seibel faced child pornography-related charges in California before his extradition to Minnesota, but that charge was dropped to allow prosecution of the Shattuck case to continue in Rice County.
Shattuck-St. Mary's is a private boarding school in Faribault with about 450 students. The school has a rich history, and refers to itself as a "center of excellence" with an emphasis on hockey, soccer, figure skating and the arts. It first opened in 1858 and was converted into a military academy in the mid-1860s. It kept the military program until 1974.
Seibel has acting credits for roles on "The Big Bang Theory," "Dallas," "Little House on the Prairie," "Murder She Wrote" and many other TV shows and movies, including "Mighty Ducks 3."