Ex-Mendota Heights tennis coach pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct

Daniel Erik Hubbard Wilson

Wilson to serve year in county jail, 15 years' probation

The former tennis coach at the Convent of the Visitation School in Mendota Heights accused of having sex with a female student he coached pleaded guilty Jan. 28 in Ramsey County District Court.

Daniel Erik Hubbard Wilson, 27, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

As part of the agreement, he also pleaded guilty to one of the three charges against him for violations of a no-contact order, according to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.

The requirements of the plea agreement include serving one year in county jail and 15 years of probation, during which time Wilson must stay away from the victim, her high school, her home, and other places she frequents. 

If Wilson does not follow the requirements, he could face six years in prison.

Wilson’s sentencing is April 16.

Charges came after coach's suspension

On Oct. 6, less than two weeks after the former tennis coach was suspended due to a suspected inappropriate relationship with a minor, Wilson was charged. Initial charges against him were first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct, both felonies, according to court documents.

The initial charges claimed Wilson had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old when he was more than four years older than her, while “in a position of authority over the victim,” court documents said.

The school suspended Wilson from his position Sept. 23, “after concerns were raised about an inappropriate relationship with a minor,” according to a statement from the school.

Wilson had been a tennis coach at Visitation since Aug. 27, 2010, and resigned Sept. 24, citing “family reasons,” the statement said. School officials then made a “mandatory report” to the state about their concerns.

Wilson met the girl in 2012, but their relationship remained platonic until the fall of 2013, according to findings in the criminal complaint. They allegedly kissed for the first time at the man’s St. Paul home, when the girl was 15.

Over several weeks, they reportedly engaged in sexual acts, including oral sex and digital penetration. The complaint said they had intercourse after the girl turned 16.

In interviews with police, the girl said she and Wilson had discussed the fact their relationship was against the law due to their age difference; she said she told her “five best friends” about the relationship, but that she didn’t think they would ever tell anyone about it.

The student also disclosed the names of three other young females “with whom [Wilson] had indicated he had been romantically involved.” In late September, the girl’s father confronted his daughter about his suspicion that she and her coach were in an “inappropriate relationship,” the complaint said. 

Investigators reported Wilson sent a text message to the girl’s father Oct. 3. It allegedly said, “I fell in love with her so tremendously and I never should have [at] this time.

“But please, my whole life would be destroyed, registering, probation, doing time, I have two sisters I love dearly that I could never see, I could never get a job or move on and go back to grad school.”

He reportedly added in the message, “I feel terrible and desperately wanted [a] chance to re-invent myself learning from this mistake,” according to the complaint.

Convent of the Visitation School, a private Catholic School, has co-ed enrollment from preschool through sixth grade, and all-girl classes in grades 7-12.

Kaitlyn Roby can be reached at 651-748-7815 and kroby@lillienews.com. Follow her at twitter.com/KRobyNews.

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