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Forum News Service, Published January 31 2014

Bemidji man charged with sex assault of woman he walked home from bar

BEMIDJI, Minn. - A Bemidji man was arrested Thursday and charged with sexually assaulting a woman he walked home from a bar.

William James Francisco, 21, is charged with third-degree criminal sexual. Authorities say he forced the woman to have sex with him in her apartment. The woman reported the assault to Bemidji police around 2 a.m. Thursday.

Francisco had left his shoes and wallet behind, according to court documents. Multiple Minnesota identification cards were found in the wallet, including his driver’s license.

Around 10:35 a.m., Francisco’s mother contacted Bemidji police asking whether anyone had turned in her son’s wallet, court documents say. She said her son had been treated for second-degree frostbite at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center.

Francisco told law enforcement his mother picked him up by Northwest Technical College at about 2 a.m., that he wasn’t wearing shoes, couldn’t recall where he lost his shoes and wallet and didn’t remember being at a bar, walking someone home or having sex with anyone. He was arrested when he went to claim his wallet.

Third-degree criminal sexual conduct by force or coercion carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.