A Winona County Sheriff’s Office carried out prostitution sting that nabbed a former La Crosse teacher.
For the first time in Chief Deputy Ron Ganrude's 28-year career with the Winona County Sheriff's Office, he took part in an online prostitution sting.
"This is a new step for us. We just started out and we had two arrests right away,” said Ganrude.
Last Wednesday, the Winona County Sheriff's Office posted a sexually explicit ad online.
"The ad was for someone 18 or older, an adult. The ads have to be placed as an adult,” said Ganrude.
According to the criminal complaint, the ad displayed a girl wearing minimal clothing, in sexually suggestive positions. It also included language commonly used in ads that is consistent with minors advertising sex acts for money.
"As soon as they put the ads out there within minutes, they were getting a high volume of hits,” said Ganrude.
Once deputies made contact with those who responded by phone or text message, they told it them it was a 15-year-old girl.
"Most of them weren't interested in it, but a couple were,” said Ganrude. "The two gentlemen did show up at a predetermined location and were arrested."
Both of those individuals are from La Crosse. Fifty-eight-year-old Bret Emmel and 66-year-old Dennis Jandt were arrested on solicitation of prostitution charges.
Emmel was a health teacher for the La Crosse School District for 35 years, specifically at Longfellow Middle School.
"He retired from our organization at the conclusion of the 2011/2012 school year,” said Steve Salerno, the associate superintendent of human resources with the La Crosse School District.
Since Emmel’s retirement, he has stayed involved through coaching and substitute teaching.
However, the school district is taking steps to handle the situation.
"I actually have sent him a letter indicating that given the allegations made for his behavior that we will not be in need of his services until this matter has been properly vetted through the court system,” said Salerno.
Emmel is out on bond after paying $15,000. He is scheduled to be back in court July 17. If he is found guilty, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine.