Aggravated sentencing sought for former National Guard recruiter

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– The state will seek aggravated sentencing against a 34-year-old Bemidji man accused of having oral sex with a 17-year-old girl.

Former National Guard recruiter Ryan Francis Rivers allegedly engaged in sexual activity in the Bemidji Armory with a 17-year-old high school student, who was at the armory to see if she was eligible to join the National Guard on Jan. 20.

An officer with the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office responded to Blackduck High School on Feb. 1 after school officials reported that a student was propositioned to have a threesome with an adult male and another juvenile female, and that led the officer to interview the victim, who then explained what happened at the armory.

According to a document from assistant county attorney Ashley Nelson, Rivers appeared at the juvenile’s place of employment and spent two hours there on a day before the alleged assault occurred, and after the alleged assault, gave a presentation at her school.

Prosecutors believe this qualifies for aggravated sentencing because the victim confided to Rivers about her previous sexual assault and mental health issues.

Rivers will make his next court appearance this Friday, March 29.

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