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Pillager man accused of having sexual relationship with underage girl

Nicholas Paul Odenthal

ST. CLOUD—A 32-year-old Pillager man is facing felony charges after allegedly posing as a younger man and having a sexual relationship with an underage girl in Stearns County.

Nicholas Paul Odenthal appeared Friday in Stearns County District Court in St. Cloud where he was charged with two felony counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct. The felonies carry a maximum sentence up to 15 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.

According to the statement of probable cause court document filed against the Pillager man, the Stearns County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 27 began investigating allegations of sexual assault involving Odenthal. The investigation revealed a sexual relationship between Odenthal and a female victim identified in the complaint as Child A.

Child A advised she met Odenthal in August and they had sexual intercourse on multiple occasions at her mother's residence in St. Cloud. Child A stated in the complaint the defendant was aware of her age and advised that he misrepresented his age claiming to be significantly younger. Officers spoke with the defendant who admitted engaging in sexual penetration with Child A.

According to a story in the St. Cloud Times, Chief Deputy Bruce Bechthold said during a traffic stop the deputy learned Odenthal was a predatory offender and saw there were two 15-year-old girls in the vehicle with him, one of whom was in a relationship with Odenthal. The deputy called the parents of the girls. The parents of the girl who was in a relationship with Odenthal were surprised to learn that Odenthal wasn't 18, as their daughter and Odenthal had led them to believe, Bechtold told the St. Cloud Times.

Odenthal has a 2008 conviction in Crow Wing County for sexually abusing a child younger than 13. In that case, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison.

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