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Last of 3 men admit guilt in Minnesota prom night sexual assault

BRAINERD, Minn.-Twenty-one-year-old Ryan Mark Hall admitted Monday in a Brainerd courtroom that he consumed a lot of alcohol and cannot remember everything that happened the night of the 2014 Brainerd High School prom-a night where alleged sexual...

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Emergency personnel were on the scene May 3 when the school bus crashed north of Bemidji, Minn. (Submitted photo)
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BRAINERD, Minn.-Twenty-one-year-old Ryan Mark Hall admitted Monday in a Brainerd courtroom that he consumed a lot of alcohol and cannot remember everything that happened the night of the 2014 Brainerd High School prom-a night where alleged sexual assaults took place at a party.

The Brainerd man also admitted if his case would go to a jury trial in Crow Wing County District Court, he would be found guilty of felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim who was mentally impaired or helpless and felony interfering with the privacy of a minor under age 18.

Jury selection was expected to begin Monday for Hall. However, a plea agreement was reached instead.
The case involved the alleged sexual assaults of two female victims that occurred after the Brainerd High School prom on April 26, 2014, at a rented townhome in Nisswa. At the townhome were nine high school students-four 18-year-old males, a 17-year-old male, three 17-year-old females and a fourth female whose age is unknown.

In the criminal complaints filed, the teenagers involved provided differing views of the case. Investigators used DNA evidence, cellphone text messages, photos and video-along with witness accounts-to detail what happened during prom night two years ago. During the night, most, if not all, the students consumed alcohol to varying degrees, the complaint stated.
With the evidence gathered, investigators reported there was an attempt to cover up what happened that night.

The complaint was filed when a 17-year-old female victim met with the Nisswa Police Department on April 29, 2014, reporting she and possibly another female were sexually assaulted. A 10-page criminal complaint details corroborating and conflicting witness statements from those who were at the townhome the night of the alleged assaults.

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In the plea agreement, Hall pleaded guilty to two of five counts he was charged with in April of 2014. The plea agreement calls for a stay of adjudication sentence, meaning Hall would be placed on probation and he could be required to serve local jail time. The agreement states Hall would be on supervised probation for up to five years and have to comply with several conditions imposed by the court. Conditions include Hall can not have any contact with the victims, he would have to conduct 100 hours of community service, perform a psycho-sexual evaluation and conduct a chemical dependency treatment/testing.

Judge Kristine DeMay accepted the plea agreement and scheduled Hall's sentencing for 9 a.m. Dec. 23.
Two other men previously have entered plea agreements in this case: Travis Michael Thelen, 21, Nisswa, and Mason Douglas Severson, 20, Nisswa.

Thelen, who will be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 28 in front of Judge Earl Maus, entered a guilty plea Sept. 6 to felony fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in one case and to gross misdemeanor fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct in a second case filed against him. Six other charges will be dismissed.

Severson was sentenced July 8 and given a stay of adjudication for felony interfering with the privacy of a minor under age 18. Severson also was charged with three felonies involving pornographic work, but those were dismissed. Severson is on supervised probation for two years and has 25 conditions he must follow, which include psychological-sexual evaluation, no contact with victims and no access to the internet without approval or possess any pornographic or sexually explicit materials.

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