Former Watertown teacher, coach facing rape charges after Brookings incident

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BROOKINGS — A former Watertown English teacher, soccer coach and debate coach is in county jail in Brookings after allegedly having sexual contact with one of his students during a trip to Brookings earlier this month.

Jordan Bakken, 33, faces charges of fourth-degree rape, a class 3 felony; solicitation of a minor, a class 4 felony; and sexual contact with a child under 18 while in a position of authority, a class 6 felony.

Watertown Superintendent Jeff Danielsen issued a statement Friday saying Bakken had tendered his resignation from his teaching position and was no longer allowed on school grounds.

Bakken, according to the probable cause affidavit filed by the state Department of Criminal Investigation, began a relationship with a girl, younger than 16, who was his student, soccer player and debate protégé, this December.

The girl’s parents discovered the relationship and reported it to authorities. During the course of the investigation, the girl told investigators she and Bakken stayed together in a hotel room in Brookings during the weekend of Jan. 12-13 when they were in town for a soccer tournament.

The details of that weekend meet the statutory designations for the charges, which were filed by Brookings County State’s Attorney Dan Nelson late last week.

In a statement released to the Brookings Register, Nelson said the matter would be presented to a grand jury soon.

“As the complaint alleges, Jordan Bakken was in Brookings County with the victim during an incident between the 12 and 13th of January 2024.” He went on to say, “The matter will be presented to a Brookings County grand jury in the coming days. Mr. Bakken is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”

Bakken was arrested on Jan. 25 and is being held on $40,000 cash bond.

According to the affidavit, the girl’s parents discovered the relationship on the evening of Jan. 22 and eventually found the girl had snuck out to see Bakken.

Bakken drove the girl as far as Gettysburg and, according to the document, had a gun with him and was reportedly suicidal. He eventually drove the girl back to her parents.

The state DCI is in charge of the investigation and it will be prosecuted in Brookings County.