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UA graduate student faces sexual misconduct charges

By Dylan McKinley
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 15, 1999
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A former UA graduate teaching assistant was charged Wednesday with four counts of criminal sexual conduct with two minors while he taught at a Minnesota high school, according to a state of Minnesota complaint and summons.

Eric Howard Holtan, 28, of the 300 block of North Bedford Drive, was investigated by the Duluth Police Department after the two girls told police they had sexual relations with Holtan between 40 and 70 times at various places, including his office at Duluth East High School.

Holtan was employed as choir director at Duluth East High School from 1993 to 1997.

Holtan is now a University of Arizona doctoral student in the UA School of Music.

He worked for part of the semester as a graduate teaching assistant for the University Singers chorale group, Music 500J, which has about 100 students, but he no longer has involvement with the class as a TA.

Robert Cutietta, interim director of the UA School of Music, confirmed yesterday Holtan is still a UA student, but is no longer a TA.

"As far as we're concerned, the situation has been dealt with," Cutietta said. "He is a student at our college and is innocent until proven guilty. There really isn't anything we can do about it."

Cutietta did not say whether Holtan's teaching assistant position was halted due to his summons.

According to the summons, police spoke with Holtan, and he admitted to having sexual encounters with the girls.

Holtan said he remembered they were 16 years old when the activity began, and he used "poor judgment" in the situation, the summons stated.

Holtan has repeatedly been unavailable for comment since the charges were filed Wednesday.

According to the summons, both girls were 15 when Holtan had reported sexual relations with them.

Holtan has not been arrested.

Mark Rubin, assistant county attorney in St. Louis, Minn., told the Duluth News-Tribune his office opted to summons Holtan to appear in court Dec. 1 so the county would not have to pay for his travel expenses.

The girls were interviewed by Duluth police before a University of Arizona Police Department-signed affidavit and search warrant were issued in early October.

The search warrant was requested by the Duluth Police Department through the UAPD after the girls told police about their encounters with Holtan.

The UAPD's search of Holtan's residence produced letters written to Holtan from one of the girls, a picture of one of the girls and numerous e-mails to and from the girls, the affidavit stated.

In the affidavit, the first girl told Duluth police she and Holtan had sex between 30 and 50 times from early 1995 through the spring of 1997.

The second girl said she and Holtan had sex between 20 and 40 times from the spring of 1994 to the spring of 1997, the affidavit stated.

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