By Shereen Siewert
A former substitute teacher with the Wausau and D.C. Everest School Districts is facing child enticement charges, the result of a Wausau Police Department investigation.
David Faulkner, 50, is also the senior pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church and School in Marshfield, police said.
An investigation began Aug. 6 when a 26-year-old man reported to Wausau Police that Faulkner disclosed that he used his position as a substitute teacher to “meet freshly 18-year-old” men. The man also told police Faulker was in a relationship with a younger man.
Police say Faulkner did hold a current substitute teaching license and worked in school districts in the Wausau area.
Wausau School District Communications Coordinator Diana White on Monday confirmed Faulkner worked in the Wausau School District intermittently as a substitute teacher since August 2016. In a statement to media, White said Faulkner was also intermittently employed as a substitute teacher in the D.C. Everest district since January 2012.
Both districts conducted a criminal background check and completed a thorough reference check at the time Faulkner was hired, White said. He has since been removed from each district’s substitute teaching roster, and the matter has been referred to the Dept. of Public Instruction for license revocation review.
Police on Aug. 24 interviewed Faulkner, who acknowledged making the remark of using his substitute teaching position to meet young men but said the statement wasn’t serious and could have been made on a “bad night,” according to a Wausau Police Department news release.
Faulkner denied any inappropriate relationships through his substitute teaching or pastoral work and identified the younger man named by the reporting person, allegedly describing him as a “friend” he met on the social media networking application Grindr, a dating app for gay, bisexual and transgender people.
That led police to an Aug. 26 interview of an 18-year-old Antigo man who told police he met Faulkner when he was 17 and the two engaged in sexual activity, though Faulkner allegedly did not ask about his age. The Antigo man also told police Faulkner supplied him with marijuana vaping cartridges.
Then on Aug. 28, investigators arrested Faulkner at his home on Wausau’s northeast side and transported him to the Marathon County Jail to await formal charges. He is expected to face charges of child enticement, sexual intercourse with a child age 16 or older and delivery of marijuana.
“At this time, we have no evidence Faulkner used his position as a substitute teacher or pastor for the purpose of meeting younger males,” said Wausau Police Capt. Ben Graham, in a news release.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is urged to call Detective Jennifer Holz at 715-261-7883 or email email@example.com.
Whit said parents or students with concerns can contact Angie Loyd in the Wausau School District at 715-261-0571 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the D.C. Everest School District contact Jeff Lindell at 715-?359-4221, Ext. 1351 or email@example.com.
Formal charges are expected to be filed Monday in Marathon County Circuit Court. Faulkner is due to make an initial appearance at 2 p.m.