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College instructor faces criminal sex conduct charge in Moorhead incident

A college instructor from Thief River Falls, Minn., was arrested Wednesday in Moorhead after a woman said he followed her to a parking lot and grabbed her breast.

Wade Selvig
Wade Selvig

A college instructor from Thief River Falls, Minn., was arrested Wednesday in Moorhead after a woman said he followed her to a parking lot and grabbed her breast.

Wade Harris Selvig, 40, was charged Thursday in Clay County District Court with fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, a gross misdemeanor.

Selvig teaches construction electricity at Northland Community & Technical College in Thief River Falls. His faculty Web page says he has a diploma from Moorhead Technical Institute.

According to court documents:

The 29-year-old woman told police she was driving on 11th Street North in Moorhead shortly before 1 a.m. when an oncoming vehicle flashed its lights at her. She then noticed her lights were off and turned them on.


The woman said she turned onto Third Avenue North and noticed a vehicle closely following her.

She turned into the parking lot of an apartment complex at 1317 3rd Ave. N. and as she got out of her vehicle, a man approached her in an aggressive manner and asked her if she knew she was driving with her lights off. The woman said she apologized to the man, who then grabbed her right breast and asked her, "Do you want a date?"

The woman screamed for help, and the man took off running and left his blue GMC van at the scene, Lt. Tory Jacobson said.

As the woman stood outside telling officers what happened, she spotted the man and officers subdued him. As they ordered Selvig to the ground, he said, "I just got out of mental health and she was driving crazy," court documents state.

Selvig told police that when he approached the woman, he believed she was intoxicated and was going to fall down, so he grabbed her by the elbow and hand and may also have touched her shoulder by accident, court documents state. He said he was a Good Samaritan and shouldn't get in trouble for his good deeds.

Selvig was taken to the Clay County Jail and posted $300 bail Wednesday morning.

Selvig did not return phone messages left at his home and office Thursday.

Becky Lindseth, human resources director for the Thief River Falls campus, said she's not allowed to comment about any possible disciplinary action for Selvig.


If convicted, Selvig faces up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple contributed to this report

Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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