Brandon Bjerknes Trial To Begin As Assistant Principal Position Ends
The former Bemidji Middle School Assistant Principal charged with describing sexual conduct with minors on social media accounts pleaded not guilty in court today.
Before his uncontested omnibus hearing, Brandon Bjerknes, 34, declined to comment on the charges against him.
During the hearing, Bjerknes pleaded not guilty to the two felony charges of engaging or relating sexual conduct with a child. This means the case against Bjerknes will now head to trial.
“Any comment on this going to trial at all?” Lakeland News asked Bjerknes’ defense attorney outside the courthouse.
“Let’s start with that he’s presumed innocent, ok?” Peter Wold told Lakeland PBS. “There’s more to this story than you’ve reported.”
His attorney, Peter Wold, declined to elaborate. Wold has represented other notable cases including allegations of sexual assault against former Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and inappropriate conduct by a Minneapolis archbishop.
In an email to Lakeland News, Beltrami County Attorney Chief Assistant David Frank says the investigation is ongoing, but he anticipates “more charges involving different victims in separate behavioral incidents.”
But Bjerknes will no longer be a district employee as the investigation continues. Since the charges were brought against Bjerknes on March 24th, the district had put him on administrative leave. During the Bemidji School District meeting tonight, the board quietly accepted his resignation.
The district says that the current substitution will likely fill the position until the end of the year.
A pre-trial hearing is set for May 17th. The three day trial is tentatively set to begin the next week on May 22nd.