BAGLEY, Minn. -- Court documents filed in May reveal that a former Bagley High School resource officer charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct allegedly had multiple victims and that his misconduct dates to 2011.
Neil Henry Dolan, 32, was charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct Nov. 21, 2019, in Clearwater County after he allegedly assaulted a then-15-year-old victim while working at the school in 2017. At the time of that alleged assault, Dolan, of Shevlin, was 29 years old.
A notice of other offenses filed by the prosecution in May states that Dolan had inappropriate relationships with at least 13 others. Assistant U.S. Attorney General Erin Eldridge is representing the state of Minnesota in the case against Dolan, who is represented by Rebecca Duren of the law firm Kelly and Lemmons.
The document describes a range of alleged inappropriate acts that occurred within the Bagley School District and also at a summer camp located in Ponsford, Minn., from 2011 through 2019. Bagley is about 25 miles west of Bemidji.
According to the documents:
At Bagley High School, Dolan would offer snacks, treats, drinks and other incentives to students while in his office, where he would often lock the doors and cover the windows. He would communicate with a number of students via Snapchat, including sending photos of his penis. Snapchat is a messaging app where photos and messages only appear for a certain amount of time unless they’re saved or screenshots are taken.
The document states that two students, when they were 14 or 15 years old, spanning from 2016 to 2019, were assaulted in Dolan’s office at the school. Both students asked Dolan to stop. Dolan would then ask them not to tell anybody, saying he could get in trouble.
In “about 2011 or 2012,” a school employee walked in on Dolan when a seventh-grade student was straddling him while seated in a chair in his office. Following that, the document alleges, Dolan put paper in his office windows and later moved his office to another part of the school. Dolan remained employed at the school until he was arrested in the fall of 2019.
Clearwater County Sheriff Darin Halverson said in November that Dolan had a clean personnel file in his near-decade of service. He added that there were no signs of misconduct on the part of Dolan, who played other roles in the Clearwater County community, including emergency manager and football coach. In his position of school resource officer, Dolan wore a uniform and carried a service revolver.
“I've talked with school officials, and nobody had red flags; this came out of nowhere,” Halverson said in November. “A lot of people had him at their family functions. ... that's why it is tearing the community apart.”
At the summer camp in Ponsford, the document states that Dolan worked in a leadership position from 2013 through 2019 and was in a position of authority over teenage staff members. One victim alleged that the physical contact between Dolan and others increased over the summers.
That alleged victim, who was 17 at the time, said that in 2015 Dolan touched the victim’s penis while they were both working at the camp and told the victim “not to talk or there would be consequences.”
The following summer in 2016, the same alleged victim was sleeping alone in a tent in a remote location of the camp when Dolan surprised the victim. Dolan got on top of the victim, who repeatedly stated “no,” “stop,” “please,” and “I can’t do this.” A similar incident occurred at the same camp with the same victim in 2018.
Then, in 2019, Dolan and the victim were at a wedding. The victim was drinking and couldn’t recall portions of the event, but woke up the next morning naked in Dolan’s hotel room and showed physical signs of being raped.
A number of other incidents occurring at Bagley High School and at the summer camp are outlined in the document.
During an omnibus hearing held for the case on Tuesday, June 16, Dolan’s attorney said they plan to file a motion for a change of venue for the trial, which hasn’t yet been scheduled, but will likely be in the spring of 2021.