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Brainerd man faces additional charges for sexually assaulting girl

William Christopher Kounkel faces multiple charges after allegedly exposing himself and touching multiple girls.

Crow Wing County Judicial Center
Crow Wing County Judicial Center in Brainerd, MN.

BRAINERD โ€” The 35-year-old Brainerd man accused of exposing himself to multiple children in a Brainerd business faces additional charges of criminal sexual conduct following the report of another incident.

William Christopher Kounkel
William Christopher Kounkel
Contributed / Crow Wing CountY Jail

William Christopher Kounkel was initially charged with felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 14 with the perpetrator at least 36 months older, two charges of felony harassment with sexual or aggressive intent with a victim under the age of 18, and a gross misdemeanor criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 16 after the March 25 incident in which he is accused of exposing himself to two girls at a Brainerd business.

He now faces additional charges of felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a person under the age of 14 with the perpetrator at least 36 months older and felony harassment where the victim was under the age of 18 and the intent was aggressive or sexual in nature. Those charges stem from a Dec. 5, 2022, incident at the same business in which Kounkel is accused of inappropriately touching a 13-year-old girl.

Kounkel appeared with his public defender, Mark Hansen, Thursday, May 5, before Judge Erik Askegaard in Crow Wing County District Court. Kounkel requested a mental health exam and Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Candace Prigge said the state had no objection to the request.

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Askegaard told both attorneys the court had received a handwritten letter from Kounkelโ€™s mother. According to court documents, the letter voices concerns over the mental health of Kounkel. His mother also requested to see security camera footage of the incidents.

Additional Charges

According to court documents, on April 5 while Kounkel was in jail on criminal charges from the March 25 incident, law enforcement received a report of a sexual assault occurring at the Brainerd business.

Headline News from the Brainerd Dispatch

Investigators learned the child had reported the incident to her school counselor and the school contacted the child's mother with the information. Her mother told investigators that since the incident her daughter has refused to go into the business and has mentioned she is afraid to even drive past the store.

Investigators contacted the school and learned on Dec. 22, 2022, the child reported a man had grabbed her butt at the store while she was there with her mother. According to court documents, the counselor was unsure how they would identify the man, so they did not make a report to law enforcement at the time.

During an interview at the Family Advocacy Center, the child described seeing a male with a hoodie near her in an aisle. She said she went to another aisle where her mother and brother were looking at items when the man then followed her, walked up behind her and inappropriately touched her buttocks.The girl said it wasn't accidental. The girl continued shopping and observed the man following her.

While in custody, Kounkel was again interviewed. He told investigators he recalled touching at least two juvenile females in the Brainerd business and running away. He also admitted he is addicted to methamphetamine and needs help.

Kounkel remains in custody in the Crow Wing County Jail and his next hearings are set for 2:15 p.m. June 27 in Crow Wing County District Court.

TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email tim.speier@brainerddispatch.com .

Tim Speier joined the Brainerd Dispatch in October 2021, covering Public Safety.
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