A former North Dakota teacher who asked her students to call her “Kim Kardashian” has been sentenced to 10 years in prison after admitting to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old student and exchanging sexually explicit messages with at least five other teens. Shannon Moser, a 38-year-old Minnesota resident who taught at Liberty Middle School in West Fargo, North Dakota, was sentenced Monday in Cass County court, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports. She will also serve five years of supervised probation and will be required to register as a sex offender.
Moser was arrested in July on charges of sexual assault, a Class C felony, and two counts of using a minor in a sexual performance, Class A felonies, the Duluth News Tribune reported.
The initial case involved two students, but multiple other students came forward and said Moser sent her nude photos and videos through Snapchat.
Speaking to the News Tribune, Moser’s lawyer Scott Brand, said Moser has “mentored younger women and mothers who went through a tough upbringing. She has been instrumental person in people’s lives in a positive way.”
During her sentencing, Moser apologized to the boys she victimized, as well as her daughters and husband, who is a pastor. “I am vastly ashamed of my simple choices that have hurt so many people,” she told the court, according to the Pioneer Press. “The trust that family, friends, and our community had in me is broken. It may never be fully restored again and that’s a painful sentence I’ll have to face for the rest of my life. I feel like I don’t deserve life or breath for all the harm and hurt that I’ve caused so many people.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Moser Admitted to Having Sex With a Student in Her Van Along a Gravel Road
KFGO reports that Moser resigned from her position as a 7th grade science teacher at Liberty Middle School on July 12.
The News Tribune reports that cops in West Fargo got an anonymous tip in June saying that Moser was having sex with minor males at Rendezvous Park in West Fargo. That student denied the relationship to police on July 3 but a friend told investigators that the teenager had spoken about the alleged abuse to him. When the victim was interviewed again, he admitted to his mother and to cops about the alleged abuse.
The alleged abuse began in early June when the victim said he met Moser at Rendezvous Park. The victim said he got in Moser’s van and the pair drove to a gravel road and had sex, according to the News Tribune. The student said that Moser told him “no one can know,” after the intercourse. That report says that Moser is also accused of giving the boy “electronic tobacco products.”
2. Moser Also Shared Naked Snapchat Photos With a Different Teen, Police Said
A separate complaint said that Moser was sharing naked photos via Snapchat with the 16-year-old. That student said he never had physical sexual contact with Moser. The News Tribune reports that Moser is considered a family friend of one of the victims.
Moser has taught in West Fargo since 2016 and is a resident of Moorhead, North Dakota. The News Tribune reports that Moser first met with officers on July 11 in relation to the alleged abuse. During that interview, police searched Moser’s cell phone and found pornographic videos of older women having sex with younger “boys.” Also in that interview, Moser made reference to her husband and four children.
3. Moser’s Behavior Around Students Had Been Under Scrutiny Since 2017
Moser’s professional conduct had been under scrutiny during the 2017-18 school year, reports the News Tribune. The newspaper says that Moser had been allowing certain students to call her “Kim Kardashian.” Moser is also accused of being inconsistent in regard to the school’s dress code and how she enforced it with certain students. During the summer of 2017, the News Tribune says Moser attended a student’s party and took photos with minors. Moser is also accused of allowing students to eat lunch in their classroom, in contrary to school rules. Despite these problems, Moser’s contract with the school district was renewed in April 2018.
Moser has been in jail since her arrest after deciding not to post bond because she accepted responsibility for her crimes, her attorney said. Moser pleaded guilty in August to six charges, including sexual assault, gross sexual imposition and four counts of luring minors by computer. She could have faced up to life in prison. Prosecutors asked for 20 years of prison and probation.
4. Moser’s Husband Is the ‘Lead Pastor’ for the River City Church
Moser’s husband, Brett Moser, is the lead pastor and elder at the River City Church in Fargo, North Dakota. At the time of Moser’s arrest, Brett Moser’s profile was removed from the church’s website. You can view a cache of it here. Brett Moser’s profile reads, “Brett is passionate about setting the pace for the mission and vision of River City, keeping our attention toward reaching people that are in need of Jesus and the unbelievable grace offered in His gift of salvation.” That bio mentions that Moser and her husband have four daughters.
The church released a statement on Moser’s arrest saying:
In response to questions from the media about recent charges against Shannon Moser, River City
Church released the following statement on Monday, July 23:
It is with great grief that we make this statement to our community, the media, and our church
The charges filed against Shannon Moser are serious and deeply disturbing. The acts outlined in
the charges are a tragic betrayal of the character of a disciple of Jesus Christ.
We do not know what will happen next in regards to the legal timeline. We do know that this is a
devastating reality for the victims and their families, for the Moser family, for this community
that we love, and for the people of River City Church. We also know that neither those suffering
nor the one who caused the suffering is beyond the reach of God’s grace and the redemptive
power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
As a religious organization, River City Church does not have the investigative tools available to
law enforcement agencies. Nor can River City Church substitute for the courts in adjudicating
legal claims. We have faith in the judicial system to determine the truth of these charges and the
severity of the consequences.
On Friday, July 13th, the River City Church elders met with Shannon and her husband, Brett. At
that meeting, it was agreed that Brett would be on Administrative leave effective immediately.
We will continue to take wise, appropriate, and decisive action for the glory of God.
May God continue to make us a humble, hopeful, and repentant people.
This matter is being investigated by the West Fargo Police Department. If you have information
or concerns regarding the investigation, please contact the police department at 701-433-5500.
5. Moser Previously ‘Provided a Safe & Secure Place for Children’ at the Family’s Church
The Moser family held a Missional Community meeting at their home on Sunday nights. Moser ran the children’s section of the church where she provided “a safe and secure place for children to learn about Jesus and have fun.”
A former student told Valley News Lives, “”here was so many victims and they were kids in my grade. And that’s just shocking.. I think she needed this. I think she needed 10 years, 15 years.” Another said she went to Moser for mentoring, “I wish that this never happened. I wish that I still could talk to her and that we could still be close. But I can’t and it kinda breaks my heart. It’s definitely taken some time to forgive her. I’m not 100 percent there yet, but I am better. I always thought like this is a teacher that really cares about me and for my future, and just something happened where she couldn’t stop it from happening. Like she could have, but she didn’t.”