Ames man, former teacher convicted of sexual exploitation

Michael Heckle

A former North Polk teacher charged with sexual exploitation by a school employee in April has been found guilty on three charges by a Story County jury Thursday afternoon.

The jury unanimously found Kevin Muehlenthaler, 29, of Ames, guilty of three counts of sexual exploitation by a school employee, an aggravated misdemeanor, according to Story County Attorney Jessica Reynolds.

The judge has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation report and indicated that sentencing will be set in about five weeks when the investigation is complete.

“I’m pleased with the jury’s verdict in this matter,” Reynolds said. “These are the types of crimes that our community can’t tolerate. My thanks to the jurors for their service and to the Ames Police Department for their thorough investigation.”

Ames Police said that Muehlenthaler had an ongoing sexual relationship with a student helper for his North Polk classroom between November 2013 and July 2014. At the time, the victim was 16 years old.

The victim reported the relationship to police on Oct. 7, 2016. 

Police said that the sexual activity between the two occurred in Ames at two of Muehlenthaler’s residential addresses, once at his friend’s house and again at the Super 8 Motel on Dayton Ave.

“Obviously we’re pleased that the system worked,” said Ames Police Cmdr. Geoff Huff. “Hopefully the victim in this will take some comfort in knowing that there was a conviction. It doesn’t always happen, so we’re always satisfied when the system works.”

Editor’s note: This story originally stated the conviction as “sexual exploitation of a minor” and has been updated to include the correct conviction of “sexual exploitation.”