Counselor Sentenced for Sexual Misconduct

March 25, 2008

SANDPOINT — A 70-year-old Bonner County counselor has been sentenced to up to five years in prison for sexual misconduct with a pair of 17-year-old students.

Louis Ladenburger was charged with inappropriately touching one 17-year-old male student and having oral sex with another. He was acting as a counselor and therapist for the boys at Elk Mountain Academy, a school for kids addicted to drugs and alcohol, when the incidents occurred sometime over the first quarter of 2007.

He was dismissed from the boarding school in early May of that year.

Ladenburger was ultimately charged with a single felony count of sexual misconduct, down from three counts of sexual battery that were originally piled upon him. The single charge was the result of a plea agreement.

Both the prosecuting and defending attorneys recommended a suspended sentence, but Judge John Patrick Luster declined, saying the nature of the conduct was too severe to warrant what essentially amounts to probation, an official with Bonner County Court confirmed.

Ladenburger was sentenced Monday in Sandpoint. Although he is facing a five year sentence, he is eligible for parole after six months, as Judge Luster retained jurisdiction over the 70-year-old defendant.

Seventeen students were asked about Ladenburger during investigations and all said they felt uncomfortable around the man, claiming he would frequently give them backrubs, touch their legs and ask about their sexual experiences.

Ladenburger, a former Catholic Priest, admitted to detectives last year that he has a sex addiction.


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