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Bemidji man arrested for sexual assault

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji man was arrested and charged in the alleged sexual assault of a woman on Thursday morning.

William James Francisco, 21, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct after authorities say he forced a woman he walked home from the bar to have sex with him in her apartment, according to court documents.

Bemidji Police were dispatched to the 200 block of Third St. NW at 2:04 a.m. on Thursday morning. The victim informed officers that she was sexually assaulted by a man who had walked her home from a downtown bar.

The man, later identified as Francisco, had left his shoes and wallet behind after the alleged assault, according to court documents. Multiple Minnesota identification cards were found inside the wallet, including Francisco’s driver’s license.

At about 10:35 a.m., Francisco’s mother contacted the Bemidji Police dispatch center inquiring if anyone had turned in her son’s wallet, according to court documents. She said her son had been treated for second-degree frostbite at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

Francisco told law enforcement his mother picked him up by Northwest Technical College at about 2 a.m., that he was not wearing shoes, could not recall where he lost his shoes and wallet and didn’t remember being at Toasty Beaver’s, walking someone home or having sex with anyone. Francisco was arrested at the Law Enforcement Center when he went to claim his wallet.

According to court documents, the woman said Francisco told her the assault “would be over quick” and said “this never happened” as he fled down the stairs of her apartment building.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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