St. Paul janitor accused of inappropriate behavior before - KMSP-TV

St. Paul janitor accused of inappropriate behavior before

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

When police arrested Walter Happel earlier this week, he was booked on suspicion of interfering with privacy -- but Fox 9 News has learned he was accused of inappropriate behavior before.

A couple of years ago, a 6th grade student at Linwood Monroe told police Happel followed him into the bathroom regularly. One one occasion, Happel allegedly used the urinal next to the boy and made a comment about his own exposed genitals.

Police say an assistant principal spoke with Happel about the incident, but he denied the allegation and agreed to use the faculty bathroom from then on.

Happel was also written up in 2003 while working at another school in the district -- Jefferson Elementary, now known as Riverview -- for disobeying the principal's order to stop giving candy to students.

At that same school, he also got in trouble for giving a male student a camera and instructing him not to tell anyone, saying the gift would be their "little secret." That student told police the two would meet in a basement bathroom and that Happel would give him candy; however, he said Happel never touched him or asked him to undress.

Yet, the most troubling allegation dates back to 1991, when a teenaged relative accused Happel of sexually abusing her from the time she was 6 until she was 12 years old. Happel denied the accusation and the county attorney declined to press charges because there wasn't enough evidence to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

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