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17-year-old accused of sex assault in Moorhead juvenile detention center

MOORHEAD – A 17-year-old Moorhead boy being held in the county juvenile detention center after being accused of sexually assaulting a child under age 12 is now charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl who was in the Shelter Care unit with him.

Joseph Jacob Moos was charged Thursday in Clay County District Court with one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct on a child under 13, a felony.

According to court documents filed with the charges, Moorhead police were called to the Shelter Care unit of the West Central Regional Juvenile Center here on July 17 after receiving a report of a sexual assault.

The Shelter Care coordinator told a Moorhead police officer that a girl there had reported receiving sexual advances from Moos.

The coordinator told the officer Moos was in Shelter Care by court order after being charged with first-degree criminal sexual assault on a child less than 12.

Children can also be held in Shelter Care if they are in need of emergency care or a 30-day evaluation, according to the juvenile center website.

The 12-year-old girl reported to officials at the Red River Child Advocacy Center in Fargo that Moos gave her a note telling her she was “hot” for a 12-year-old. He originally claimed he was 15, she told officials, but later admitted he was 17.

She reported that on July 15, while the girls and boys at Shelter Care were in school, Moos sexually molested her while the students were supposed to be watching a movie.

Moos propositioned her the following day, asking her to do to him what he’d done to her, the girl reported.

A Moorhead police officer interviewed Moos in the secure unit of the juvenile center. Moos initially denied sitting with the girl and touching her during the movie. He then admitted to having contact with the girl, but then said he wrote her a note of apology.

Moos’s next court appearance is set for Sept. 8.