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Wright man faces child sex assault charges

Robert Laurence Besch

A rural Wright man faces felony charges after admitting to sexually assaulting two young girls, police said. Robert Laurence Besch, 48, was charged Feb. 13 with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual assault of a child younger than 13 years old.

According to the criminal complaint, a Carlton County sheriff's deputy interviewed the victims' mother Feb. 1, and she told the deputy that the girls told her that Besch had sexually assaulted them.

Forensic interviews were conducted at First Witness Child Advocacy Center in Duluth on Feb. 4, where the girls told investigators about multiple incidents of sexual penetration. One of the girls said the abuse took place over multiple months.

Besch was arrested Feb 4, and he agreed to speak with officers. During the interview, Besch admitted to about five incidents of assault in the past several months, the complaint said.

Besch has been held at the Carlton County Jail since his arrest. Sixth District Judge Robert Macaulay set Besch's bail at $20,000 and ordered Besch to have no contact with the two girls or their mother.

Besch had a bail hearing in Carlton County District Court on Feb. 7 and was granted a public defender. He is due back in court March 11 for a pretrial hearing.

Adelie Bergstrom

Adelie has been a reporter, editor and graphic designer for the News Tribune since 2012. (Her name rhymes with “Natalie.”) She began her career as a police reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Adelie also is an artist, photographer and model. She's a girl of the North with a whimsical streak and a love for Scandinavia, the Northern Lights, quirky films and anything mid-century. Contact her in the newsroom at (218) 720-4154.

(218) 720-4154
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