Former Merrill music teacher gets 4 months jail in student sex case

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MERRILL, Wis. (WSAW) -- A former Merrill High School music teacher convicted of two counts of sexual assault of student by school staff will spend 120 days in jail and 36 months on probation.

According to the criminal complaint Chase Tonar had sexual contact with the alleged victim three times while employed by the Merrill School District and twice after his employment ended. Court documents state Tonar's employment ended at the end of the school year on June 5.
Online court records list the offense dates at May 2015.

Tonar reached a plea deal in the case in September. Three other counts were dismissed.

The Merrill School Board previously released this statement:

On July 14, 2015, the Administration of the Merrill Area Public Schools was made aware that Chase Tonar, formerly a teacher in the District, was taken into custody by the Merrill Police Department. During the 2014-2015 school year Mr. Tonar was the high school choir teacher and assisted in the band program. The District accepted Mr. Tonar’s resignation at the May 20, 2015, Board Meeting. At no time prior to July 14, 2015, was the Administration aware of the alleged facts, none of which reference alleged conduct on school property or at school events, leading to Mr. Tonar’s arrest. However, upon being so advised, the Merrill Area Public Schools has cooperated with law enforcement and is committed to continuing to cooperate as the investigation and prosecution continues.

Tonar must register as a sex offender until 2031.