BEMIDJI – A 21-year-old Walker man has pleaded guilty in Beltrami County District Court to a felony charge of harassment.
William Joseph Bedeau pleaded guilty Monday to harassment, violating a restraining order when the victim is under the age of 18 and the defendant is more than 36 months older than the victim. He entered the plea before Beltrami County District Judge Shari Schluchter.
Sentencing was set for Nov. 5. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He remained in Beltrami County Jail Thursday afternoon.
According to the criminal complaint:
Bedeau violated a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting a 14-year-old girl with whom he had developed a sexual relationship. The girl’s mother obtained the restraining order in February after Bedeau assisted the girl in running away from home.
The mother reported to police in March that Bedeau and the girl were communicating by telephone and Facebook messaging. The girl reportedly created a fake Facebook profile to allow for the communication.
Bedeau refers to the girl as “wifey” and indicates they are engaged. In one message, he wrote he thought she had forgotten about him after he went to jail and that he was in love with her.