NEW HAVEN, Conn. ― A North Dakota State University student who is a National Guard member in Fargo has been accused of trying to have sex with a 15-year-old girl in Connecticut, police said.
Christopher James Brereton, 33, was charged Monday, March 13, in the New Haven Superior Court with four felonies: risk of injury to a child, second-degree attempt to commit sexual assault, third-degree attempt to possess child porn and enticing a minor by a computer. He also was charged with a misdemeanor of attempting to solicit sexual conduct.
Brereton allegedly started speaking with a 15-year-old girl online in January, according to a news release issued by the New Haven Police Department. After being informed by the family about the conversations, the agency and a Homeland Security agent “continued the undercover social media chats with Brereton and eventually arranged a meeting with him,” the release said.
Brereton drove from Fargo to New Haven ahead of spring break to allegedly have sex with the girl, police alleged. Instead, he was met by officers and arrested March 13.
The Superior Court declined to provide court records to The Forum. An email sent back in response to the request said the court has reduced its staff “as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis.”
“As a result, we are not processing record requests until we are back in the office,” the email stated. “We do not know when we will resume normal operations.”
The New Haven Police Department did not return several messages left by The Forum seeking comment on this story.
NDSU confirmed Brereton is a student. He is being held on a $200,000 bond at the New Haven Correctional Center in south-central Connecticut. His next appearance is April 30.
Brereton also is a traditional Army National Guard member stationed out of Fargo, meaning he is enlisted as a part-time servicemember, North Dakota National Guard spokesman William Prokopyk said. Brereton has been flagged, meaning he can't receive awards or promotions but can still practice in weekend training, Prokopyk said.
The alleged actions are under the jurisdiction of local law enforcement because they didn't happen when Brereton was conducting his military duties, Prokopyk said. Brereton's commission in the National Guard is expected to end soon, but Prokopyk could not say exactly when due to privacy terms.