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Bemidji State University student says she was sexually assaulted

BEMIDJI, Minn.  — A Puposky, Minn., man was charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct Wednesday after a woman said he picked her up from a Bemidji State University dorm, drove her to a remote location north of Lake Bemidji and sexually assaulted her.

Richard Leif Erickson, 20, has been held in the Beltrami County Jail since early morning Tuesday, according to the jail’s inmate list. According to BSU officials, Erickson is not a student.

According to a complaint against Erickson, he arrived at Tamarack Hall early Monday evening, walked into a dorm room and asked a number of people if they “wanted to get high.” Two people, including the victim, agreed to go with Erickson to his car, the complaint said. The other young woman decided not to go. The victim told officers she and Erickson drove around Bemidji and smoked “a great deal” of marijuana, and that Erickson gave her a drink. According to the complaint, after the victim had the drink she became disoriented, started to feel sick, had a difficult time staying awake and could not move.

According to the complaint, Erickson then drove the victim to the remote location and sexually assaulted her. The victim told police she did not consent and that she told Erickson to stop and that it was painful, but could not fight back.  Later in the evening, the complaint said, the victim texted her friends to pick her up at the CVS in Bemidji. The victim’s friends arrived at the CVS at about 11:15 p.m. and saw the victim stumble out of a vehicle driven by Erickson, who then allegedly sped away. The victim then told her friends Erickson had sexually assaulted her, and they drove her to the hospital.

Erickson is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 12.

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