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Guilty plea by former Shullsburg teacher
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DARLINGTON - A Shullsburg man pleaded guilty Tuesday in Lafayette County Circuit Court to two counts of having sex with a Shullsburg High School student in 2000 and 2001.

Todd Strang, 37, now a teacher at Black Hawk High School, was charged in November 2008 for having intercourse with a female student over the age of 16 while a teacher at Shullsburg High School, according to the criminal complaint and a statement Tuesday from state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.

The incidents took place at Strang's residence with the student during her junior and senior years at Shullsburg High School, according to the statement.

Strang could be sentenced to 10 years in prison and faces a $10,000 fine for each count at his sentencing hearing Aug. 24.

The charges are the result of an investigation by the state Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation.

Strang is a physics and chemistry teacher at Black Hawk High School, and he was the baseball coach for five years. He began working at Black Hawk in 2003.

Strang was placed on administrative leave with pay initially, until charges were brought against him, Black Hawk District Administrator Charles McNulty said Tuesday. After charges were filed in late 2008, Strang was suspended without pay.

"There were no allegations within the school district of Black Hawk," McNulty said of the district's initial decision to pay Strang during his suspension.

Strang still is an employee of the Black Hawk district, but terms of his bond release do not allow him to teach high school children, according to Dennis Krueger, assistant attorney general, who was assigned as a special prosecutor for Lafayette County in the case.

Terms of his bond release granted in 2008 forbid Strang from working and volunteering at a location where he would be in contact with anyone under the age 18, meaning a school.

"Bottom line he is not to work or volunteer at a place where there would be a person under the age of 18," Krueger said. "The bond requirements will remain in place until his sentencing.

Strang will remain an employee of the district until he is stripped of his teaching license by the state Department of Public Instruction, McNulty said, but he will continue to be suspended without pay.

Though Strang was hired before McNulty became superintendent this school year, McNulty said there were no warning signs prior to Strang's employment at Black Hawk.

"He had some excellent references from the previous district," McNulty said.