Bemidji assistant principal accused of soliciting children for sex

Published 11:05 am Saturday, March 25, 2017

BEMIDJI — Authorities allege an assistant principal at Bemidji Middle School posed online as a 13-year-old boy from Duluth to try to lure children into having sex.

Thirty-four-year-old Brandon Bjerkness made his first court appearance Friday on two counts of soliciting children to engage in sexual conduct. The Beltrami County sheriff’s office says he was arrested Thursday.

Bjerkness is accused of creating a Facebook account under the fake name Brett Larson. His home was searched Monday.

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Prosecutors say investigators discovered Snapchat conversations of a sexual nature on his phone with two girls, ages 13 and 14.

There’s no indication in the complaint that any physical contact took place.

School officials say Bjerkness was placed on administrative leave the moment they learned of his arrest.

Court records don’t list an attorney for Bjerkness.