Former ASD Teacher Charged With Sexual Abuse Of A Minor

Former Anchorage School District teacher David Schwantes was arraigned Thursday afternoon in an Anchorage court.

Schwantes, 73, is charged with seven counts of sexual abuse of a minor.

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Anchorage Police Department Detective John Vandervalk says the arrest is based off an investigation of a complaint lodged by a former student who is now an adult, who alleges Schwantes molested him in the 1990s.

A teacher picture of suspect David Schwantes from the 1990s.  (Photo via APD)
A teacher picture of suspect David Schwantes from the 1990s. (Photo via APD)

“Many times in life, people are triggering events that bring these things forward and in this case it was one of those things for this particular person,” Vandervalk said. “And it came into the issue of trust and what to do now with their children and childcare situations, and that’s what triggered them and brought this case forward for us.”

Schwantes taught at Mt. Spurr Elementary School on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson from 1968 until 1993. Between 1993 and 1996, he worked as a substitute teacher with the Anchorage School District. Then in 1999 and 2000, he worked in Title 1 after school activities at Muldoon Elementary.

Prior to working in the Anchorage School District, Schwantes taught briefly in Southeast and rural Alaska.

Detective Vandervalk says there may be additional victims.

“Whether or not people want to come forward after this many years, realize every victim deals with a situation in their own way,” he said. “Some people may have put it behind them and it may be too difficult to deal with and they may not want to come forward anymore.”

“That’s their own particular choice and what we want to have come out of this is the best possible outcome for the victim.”

APD is working with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations to identify other victims who may have attended Mt. Spurr Elementary in the past.