Warrant issued for Brainerd man’s arrest
Billie Ray Clark was convicted of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl in Brainerd in 2020.
BRAINERD — A Brainerd man who sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in 2020 in Brainerd failed to appear for sentencing Thursday, Jan. 26, in Crow Wing County District Court.
Billie Ray Clark, 27, who faced three counts of felony criminal sexual assault, pleaded guilty to one charge and the other two charges were dropped in August 2022.
Failing to appear before Judge Patricia Aanes, Clark’s public defender Charles Frey informed Aanes of a call Clark made to his office earlier in the morning. Clark informed his lawyer and the court he was about five hours away and had no way of making his court appearance.
Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Janine LePage asked Aanes to issue a warrant for his arrest as Clark knew of this court date for an extended period of time and, other than calling on the day of to say he would not be there, made no effort to attend court.
LePage also noted Clark had not completed any of his court-required evaluations prior to sentencing.
Taking what LePage and Frey said into account, Aanes said Clark had also failed to provide the court with a current address and she would issue the warrant.
Clark failed to appear in court in January of 2021 and September of 2021 and a warrant was issued for his arrest Sept. 27, 2021. Clark was arrested in April 2022.
According to the criminal complaint, Clark was homeless in August 2020 and living in a van parked on D Street in Brainerd. During that time, a runaway girl was reported to have spent a night in the van with Clark.
The van was parked outside of the home of a woman known to Clark and the morning after the alleged attack, the girl went into the house and confided in the woman about the sexual assault by Clark during the night. The woman reported the attack to law enforcement on Aug. 26, 2020.
The complaint stated the girl told the woman Clark tried to kiss her and cuddle with her and she punched him.
On Sept. 1, 2020, investigators received a report from the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office providing additional details about a solicitation of a minor case in which Clark was a suspect.
The report from Otter Tail County also noted two other criminal sexual conduct incidents involving Clark in Brainerd, including the one at issue in this case.
According to Otter Tail County, Clark admitted to a woman that he tried to rape the girl in Brainerd and she was 14 years old at the time. Clark stated he reached up the girl’s shirt, touched her breasts, and kissed her on her neck and breast area. Clark told her the girl fought him off and told him no several times.
The charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct charges carry a maximum sentence of 10 years and a penalty of $20,000.
TIM SPEIER, staff writer, can be reached on Twitter @timmy2thyme , call 218-855-5859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .