Ex-Eden Prairie teacher sentenced for grooming student

A former Eden Prairie social studies teacher was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty last December to child endangerment charges.

Craig Lee Hollenbeck, 51, will serve 30 days of Sentencing to Service (STS) and two years probation for having an inappropriate relationship with a 17-year-old student, according to a Hennepin County complaint.

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A mandated reporter alerted the police to the relationship in 2021. The contact between the two reportedly began in February 2021 and included texts, social media, FaceTime and in-person meetings.

Police say they reviewed text messages between the two and Hollenbeck said in those messages he had fallen in love with the student.

Eden Prairie officers say they consulted experts who determined that Hollenbeck’s actions were child grooming and that the behavior would likely harm a minor’s emotional and/or mental health.