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Bemidji man charged with criminal sexual conduct

BEMIDJI—A Bemidji man was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct Monday after a woman reported to the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office that she had been sexually assaulted.

Austin Cleo ChristophersonAccording to a criminal complaint, Austin Cleo Christopherson, 18, was arrested Jan. 7 after the victim told deputies he assaulted her at a party Jan. 5. The complaint states that the victim had consumed several shots of whiskey at the party, and that after vomiting a friend helped her to bed, where she passed out.

The victim said that when she woke up Christopherson was on top of her and she was not wearing pants or underwear, according to the complaint. The victim said she threw up again, and was in and out of consciousness, but recalls at one point Christopherson attempted to sexually penetrate her.

The complaint states that during an interview with officers, Christopherson initially said he didn't remember anything from the night of Jan. 5 due to alcohol consumption, but later admitted to having intercourse with the victim. He said he went into the bedroom where the victim was sleeping to "cuddle," and that she was in and out of consciousness for about 45 minutes.

Christopherson is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or

(218) 333-9796