Michael Vernon Reynolds
Michael Vernon Reynolds
He’s Also Charged With Giving Girls Alcohol,
A Belle Plaine High School teacher is off the job after being charged in Scott County District Court with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and child endangerment.
Michael Vernon Reynolds is charged with inappropriate contact with a girl who was living at his house. He is also charged with illegally allowing children living at his house to partake in the consumption of alcohol and marijuana.
Reynolds was taken into custody Friday morning (May 12) at his home in Belle Plaine. He was released on $10,000 bail Tuesday (May 16), with conditions that include no contact with the victims.
Reynolds, 32, is due in Scott County District Court for an omnibus hearing June 7, 8:30 a.m. His attorney, Tom Shiah, said the criminal complaint sets forth allegations which need to be properly heard in a court of law and not in the media.
“Mr. Reynolds vigorously denies the allegations and looks forward to his day in court,” Shiah said.
Reynolds is currently on paid administrative leave from his job with the Belle Plaine School District, according to Superintendent Ryan Laager. Monday, the school board voted not to renew his contract for the 2017-18 school year as a probationary teacher.
According to the criminal complaint, police were called to the home of a Reynolds family friend on the 700 block of O’Brien Parkway Friday morning at 1:25 a.m. Two girls, both foreign-exchange students, who were living with Reynolds and his wife for the school year, were at the house on O’Brien Parkway indicating “they no longer felt safe at their host home,” according to the criminal complaint.
The allegations against Reynolds include providing the girls, ages 16 and 17, alcohol on multiple occasions at his house. He also allegedly provided one of the foreign-exchange students homemade peanut butter cups laced with marijuana at the house. Reynolds admitted he purchased the marijuana from a friend, according to the criminal complaint. The charge says he admitted he mixed about 5 milligrams of marijuana with olive oil when he made the chocolate bars.

Taste Testing
On April 9, one of the girls watched Reynolds eating a homemade peanut butter bar. She asked if she could have one. The criminal complaint said Reynolds told her she could “but that she should only eat half because they contained marijuana and a whole one would be too strong for her.” She admitted consuming half of it. She also consumed Red Bull with vodka at that time, according to the criminal complaint.
The charges also indicate while at the house, Reynolds performed a bikini wax on one of the girls, applying wax paper to the girl’s abdomen, below her bellybutton and “a little below the underwear line,” according to the criminal complaint. The criminal complaint also states Reynolds allegedly “placed wax paper on her inner thigh, next to her underwear line.” The girl reported that Reynolds removed the wax paper from each area. “She felt very uncomfortable when the defendant was doing this to her,” according to the criminal charge.
The criminal complaint states Reynolds admits he served the girl alcohol and performed the bikini waxing. He said, according to the complaint, the alcohol was to “ease the pain of waxing.”
The criminal complaint states Reynolds wanted one of the girls to move out of his house. He claims he allowed them access to the marijuana-laced chocolate bars so he could have them drug tested and removed from the house.
The criminal complaint says Reynolds admitted to police he served one of the girls alcohol and performed a waxing on her. He also admitted to allowing the other girl to drink alcohol, as stated in the criminal complaint. He indicated he waxed her leg, upper lip and arms, and above her bellybutton.
He claimed he told the girls there was marijuana in the homemade chocolate bars but denied serving the bars to the girls, according to the criminal complaint.

Parents Upset With Lack of Notification
Laager declined comment on the charges against Reynolds and said the issue is a police matter and not a school matter. Parents were irked the school did not notify them about a police matter that involved a teacher who may have had contact with their children.
“I have a student in the school district,” Chelsey Schindler posted on the Herald’s Facebook page. “Where in the hell is the notice informing us? Why am I reading it from the paper? This is insane.”
Parent Kerry Harnesk Pitozzi concurred. “I am very disappointed to find this out on Facebook, not directly from the school my children attend,” according to her post on the Herald’s Facebook page.
“I would hope the parents who have students in the high school would be notified of a situation. We should have been notified by now, seeing how the arrest happened on Friday (May 12),” Renee Eyrich posted on the Herald’s Facebook page May 17.