Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release: Alex Murphy
  DCI Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Former Harlan Teacher Charged with Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee

Harlan, IOWA --- Today, 72 year old Lee Nelson of Harlan, Iowa was arrested and charged with Sexual Exploitation by a School Employee (709.15) and Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse (709.11). Nelson is a former teacher of the Harlan Community School District.

Complaint & Affidavit

On May 30, 2013 the 17 year old female victim and her parents contacted police to report that since October, 2012, Nelson had been saying rude and inappropriate things to the victim, as well as touching her inappropriately.  Considering the involved parties and the severity of the accusations, the Harlan Police Department requested the assistance of the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on June 3, 2013.

Lee Nelson

Lee Nelson, 72 years

Over the last two months DCI Agents and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office worked diligently to interview the victim, witnesses, and the alleged suspect.  These efforts resulted in today’s arrest of Mr. Nelson.

Nelson is currently being held in the Shelby County Jail on $7,000 bond.

Nelson was employed with the Harlan Community School District for 35 years, before the school board accepted his resignation on April 22, 2013.

It should be noted a criminal charges is merely an accusation and all suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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