Andrew C. Meeks has been charged with first degree sexual assault of a child with a person under the age of 13, child enticement with sexual contact, causing mental harm to a child and exposing a child to harmful descriptions. He was arrested Aug. 27.
Officers first received information about a possible inappropriate relationship between Meeks and the victim in April 2019, according to a criminal complaint from the Dane County Circuit Court.
“It’s safe to say that the relationship started when he was a student and continued after he was a student,” said McFarland Police Department Chief Craig Sherven.
The sexual contact Meeks had with the student was found in investigative developments after his arrest.
In August, school resource officer John Miller received a text from the victim’s mother wanting to report what her child told her.
Meeks was the child’s teacher at Waubesa Intermediate School during the 2017-18 school year. He began teaching at the school in 2013.
During interviews with Safe Harbor, the child disclosed Meeks demonstrated and explained sexual acts and encouraged him to masturbate beginning when the child was 11. He instructed the child about how to look up pornography, including gay pornography, live cams and teenage pornography.
Meeks forced the child to touch him while at a movie theater July 31 and then touched the child over his clothes.
“Just don’t tell your mom,” the 12-year-old victim reported Meeks saying each time he acted in ways that made the victim uncomfortable.
The victim said Meeks controlled the friendship.
The victim interviewed with Safe Harbor on Aug. 20 and disclosed during the first few weeks of the year, the victim tripped on a book and hit his face on Meeks’ arm in his classroom after school. Meeks believed the victim kissed his arm.
The day after the incident, Meeks met the victim in the hallway where Meeks told the victim he believed the victim was gay, although the victim insisted he does not identify as gay.
“Victim 1 said Meeks seemed to be encouraging him to be gay, and said it was difficult for him to come out, too,” the complaint stated.
Meeks forced the child to say he was gay. He read the child books with homosexual themes and encouraged him to listen to songs about coming out.
Meeks wrestled the victim while shirtless and encouraged the victim to remove his shirt, too.
A few weeks before the Safe Harbor interview, Meeks took the victim for a bike ride on the boardwalk in McFarland. They went into the woods where Meeks became aroused.
Meeks told the victim, to “not tell anybody, because if you do, I could get into a lot of trouble.”
Meeks, the victim and the victim’s mother exchanged 19,392 text messages between Aug. 8, 2018, and Aug. 11, 2019. The majority were between Meeks and the victim. They exchanged an additional 3,381 text messages and more than 300 calls using WhatsApp. Meeks made the victim delete messages and typed messages for the victim to send to his mother.
When the victim’s mother stopped letting her son see Meeks, the teacher bought an X-Box to play with the victim and created a username the mother would not recognize.
“Victim 1 stated Meeks would also tell victim 1 they could ‘telepathically talk,’” the complaint said.
Meeks instructed the victim to look at the moon at 7:39 p.m. each night. The time was selected because it is the favorite numbers of Meeks, the victim and another child the victim knows. He gave the victim awards and gifts.
Meeks started a “bike gang” with other kids in which each child was given a unicorn sticker for their bike. Meeks wore a sticker on his helmet.
Three staff members at Waubesa Intermediate School witnessed inappropriate behavior between the child and Meeks, including the victim sitting on Meeks’ lap and receiving piggyback rides.
Miller applied for a search warrant of Meeks’ home Aug. 29. Meeks possessed photographs of the victim at home and in his classroom.
The victim stated “he will be paranoid of teachers,” according to the complaint. He said Meeks made him lose his love for running, maki and playing games. He is afraid to go into dark rooms, leave his home and play with his friends outside because Meeks could take him.
“Any time I see anybody that looks relatively like him, I have a full-on panic attack,” the victim told Safe Harbor.
Meeks has a signature bond set for $500 per case. He is ordered to wear a GPS tracking device and to surrender his passport to the clerk of courts office. He cannot have contact with the victim or his family, have any direct or indirect contact with a child under the age of 16 without supervision of a reasonable adult and cannot be in the village of McFarland and McFarland School District property.
A status conference for Meeks is scheduled for Oct. 14.