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Jury finds Bemidji man guilty of criminal sexual conduct

A Beltrami County Jury found a 45-year-old Bemidji man guilty Friday of serious felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim younger than 13.

The charge against Ryan Russell Hilmer is that he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl Oct. 8 in rural Bemidji.

Hilmer was taken into custody after the guilty verdict and will remain in the Beltrami County Jail until his sentencing, which is scheduled for April 27 at the Beltrami County Courthouse.

According to the criminal complaint:

At 1:30 p.m. Oct. 8, a Beltrami County Health and Human Services employee received a call from Hilmer who said he had inappropriately touched the girl as she lay in bed shortly after 5 a.m. He was confronted by his spouse and initially denied what he had done, but later admitted it. He said he then spoke with his pastor, who told him to call Child Protection.

The maximum penalty is 25 years in prison and $35,000 fine.

The case was prosecuted by Itasca County Attorney John Muhar because of a conflict of interest in the Beltrami County Attorney's Office.