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Northwest Minnesota man traveled over 150 miles to have sex with young teen, charges say

BEMIDJI — A 25-year-old Lancaster man has been charged with two felony counts of criminal sexual conduct after allegedly traveling to Blackduck to have sex with an underage girl.

Cody Bernhardt is being held at the Beltrami County Jail on one count of third degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child.

Beltrami County Sheriff deputies responded to a call in Blackduck on March 2 regarding an adult male sending inappropriate text messages to a child who was younger than 16 years old. According to the complaint, the victim's parents reported the messages.

The messages found by deputies indicated Bernhardt allegedly traveled over 150 miles from his residence in Lancaster in the northwest corner of Minnesota to the victim's home in Blackduck. According to court documents, the victim indicated in a statement to law enforcement that Bernhardt arrived in Blackduck at 1 a.m. and they were both in his car from about 1 to 8 a.m.

In the messages reviewed by investigators, Bernhardt acknowledged having sex with the victim.

He later admitted to performing sexual acts with the victim, including penetration, officers said.

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