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Former Bemidji Middle School administrator could have 50 victims

The former Bemidji Middle School assistant principal accused of having sexual conversations with—and who received sexual photos of—children may have as many as 50 victims, according to federal court documents.

Brandon Mark Bjerknes, 34, is charged in state district court with four counts of engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child. On May 31, he was charged in federal court with two counts of production of child pornography, one count of distribution of child pornography and one count of attempted coercion and enticement of a minor.

Bjerknes was taken into federal custody May 30 and was being held in the Sherburne County Jail. He was released Monday after posting a $25,000 bond.

According to a federal criminal complaint, Bjerknes used a decoy social media account to entice or coerce children as young as 12 into sending him sexually explicit photographs. While posing as a teenage boy, Bjerknes allegedly dared one minor to send him multiple sexual pictures of herself and watch a "porno clip" he sent her.

The complaint outlines the experiences of three different victims, though Beltrami County prosecutors say there are likely more. Bjerknes is accused of communicating with at least one 13-year-old girl as early as February 2015.

He pleaded not guilty to two of the local charges, but has not entered a plea on the other two. Court documents say the Beltrami County Attorney's Office expects to file additional charges. The federal charges will not impact local ones.

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