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Bjerknes to plead guilty to state and federal charges

Bemidji man pleads not guilty to criminal sexual conduct

BEMIDJI -- A 20-year-old Bemidji man plead not guilty Tuesday to a felony criminal sexual conduct charge in Beltrami County Court.

Joshua Riley Malone is accused of having sex with an unconscious victim at a house party in February. Malone is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a victim who was mentally impaired or rendered helpless. He faces up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

Malone was a member of the BSU football team at the time, he has since been suspended pending the outcome of the investigation.

In a statement to Bemidji police on March 17, Malone confirmed he had a party at his house and reported he carried a drunk woman to his room to take care of her. The two had sex, however Malone indicated the victim was not unconscious when he had sex with her, according to court documents.

Malone bonded out of the Beltrami County Jail in March. A future pre-trial court date will be set for sometime this fall.

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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