Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A former Rochester School District employee charged with molesting a young student was sentenced to 45 days in jail Friday.

The sentencing of 31-year-old Nicholas Keller came after the judge was told the girl’s life “ will be changed forever. “

Keller earlier pleaded guilty to a 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct charge. A felony charge was dismissed as part of a plea agreement. Keller entered an Alford plea, which means he does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence to be convicted of the charge.

Before he was sentenced, Keller told the court he entered the plea “to end the process” and noted he maintained his innocence.

Judge Pam King told Keller she understood the legalities involved but also said “You need to understand the child has been impacted forever by your behavior. “ She added, “ This community has suffered a significant betrayal of trust by you.”

A letter from the family of the girl was also read to the court. The letter said Keller “groomed and sexually touched” the 8-year-old girl and that as a result, she “lost her innocence.”

King also ordered Keller to complete a sex offender treatment program and register as a predatory sex offender. He will also be on probation for four years.

Keller was charged in 2017 with molesting the girl while employed as a teacher in the district’s School Aged Child Care (SACC) program at Sunset Terrace in 2016.

He was later charged with molesting another young girl over a three year period at Gage and Sunset Terrace schools, beginning in 2006 when she was 9-years-old. That case was dismissed on technical grounds.

He was also charged with possession of child pornography but that case was dismissed after investigators could not definitely prove children were involved.

Keller is married and the father of a young girl.

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