Various news outlets in the Twin Cities are reporting that Gail Gagne has been charged with two counts of felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly engaging in sexual acts with a male student. Gagne, 27, was 25 at the time of the alleged encounters in 2008 with the student, 17, who was 16 at the time. Gagne is the daughter of Greg Gagne, the grandaughter of Verne Gagne, and the niece of Larry Zbyszko. The crime she has been charged with deals with contact between someone 16-18 years of age and a person "in a position of authority" over them.
Gagne, who had been an assistant coach for the University of Northern Colorado's women's basketball team during the '05-'06 season, got to know the student (who was participating in a work study program) through her role as weight room supervisor at Cretin-Durham Hall, a Catholic high school in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is alleged that after they went out to eat together a few times, they engaged in sexual acts at Gagne's home and the La Quinta Inn & Suites hotel in Bloomington. Hotel and credit card records show that Gagne stayed in a room there on September 13 & 14, 2008. Gagne had previously been a student at the school, and worked there as a substitute teacher before working as weight room supervisor. She was hired as a full time teacher in September 2008. The school and police were alerted to the allegations this past May.
2009 has been a bad year for the Gagne family. On January 26, Verne Gagne, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and living in a nursing home, shoving roommate Helmut Gutmann to the ground, leading to Gutmann's death. Gagne had previously attacked Guttman by applying the sleeper hold, his pro wrestling finishing hold, on Guttmann. The death was ruled a homicide, but Gagne was not charged due to his mental state. His condition had been talked about in non-specific terms for years, especially after an incident at the Cauliflower Alley Club's annual banquet where he was accosted by an intoxicated Chavo Guerrero Sr. and it was clear that Gagne had no idea who Guerrero was. The talk had quieted down after he appeared to be relatively lucid when giving his acceptance speech at the 2006 WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but his condition was confirmed after Gutmann's death became a mainstream news story.
Harvard alumnus Christopher Nowinski, who played college football before becoming a pro wrestler and later an expert on concussions in sports after he had to retire due to brain damage, speculated that Gagne's dementia may have been related to head trauma, as he had played football for several years in addition to decades as a top level amateur and professional wrestler. Some wrestling fans noted how the octogenarian Gagne's attack of Guttman with his finishing hold seemed oddly similar to the Chris Benoit case in a certain respect. Benoit, who killed his young son Daniel with his own signature hold, had his brain examined by the Sports Legacy Institute, which Nowinski is involved with. The level of damage was described as being similar to that of the brain of an 85 year old with Alzheimer's Disease.