Lancaster man in custody on criminal sexual conduct charges

By: News Director Larissa Donovan

BEMIDJI– A Lancaster man is in custody and has been charged with criminal sexual conduct and engaging in sexual online communications with a child.

According to the criminal complaint, Beltrami County Deputies responded to a residence in Blackduck and spoke with parents who were disturbed that an adult male was sending inappropriate text messages to a child younger than 16.

The victim told deputies that she had met 25-year-old Cody Bernhardt on social media, and the victim’s sibling also provided a statement about confronting Bernhardt about his age.

The complaint further states that Bernhardt was interviewed by deputies this past Tuesday, and admitted to performing sexual acts on the victim two weeks prior.

Cody Allen Thomas Bernhardt, 25. Photo courtesy of the Beltrami County Jail.

Bernhardt first appeared in court yesterday and will make his next court appearance on Monday. Bail with conditions has been set at $6,000.

View the criminal complaint here: BERNHARDT CSC.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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