A Nashwauk man has been found guilty of repeatedly sexually assaulting a preteen girl.
An Itasca County jury on Friday convicted 36-year-old Bryan Morgan Holl of five felony charges related to the abuse of the victim when she was approximately 9 to 11 years old.
Holl was charged in March 2017 after the girl, who was known to him, came forward to family members, and later law enforcement, with information. According to a criminal complaint, she disclosed a number of instances of inappropriate sexual contact from about 2012 and 2014.
Holl was found guilty of one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The first-degree charge carries a maximum of 30 years in prison. A sentencing date was not immediately scheduled.
According to the complaint:
The Itasca County Sheriff's Office was made aware of the allegations in January 2017, when the girl reported the abuse to a social worker. Investigators also learned of the allegations from the victim's father.
In a February 2017 forensic interview, the girl described multiple instances of sexual abuse. She said the incidents involved both touching and penetration.
The victim also disclosed that Holl had reached out to her on Facebook about a month prior to apologize. Investigators were able to retrieve that message, in which he specifically addressed the "sexual abuse that I put you (through)."
"I am truly sorry for the things I have put you (through) and the long road still ahead for you but know you have a great support team to help (you through) it," he wrote in part. "You're strong."
When interviewed by investigators, Holl admitted that the abuse started when the victim was approximately 10. He acknowledged a number of instances in which he touched the victim or she touched him - acts that he said occurred because the victim was "curious about sexuality and sexual acts."
Both Holl and the victim reported that the girl's mother was made aware of the incidents. In a meeting, Holl "indicated he was sorry for what went on and that he knew it was wrong." He also stated that he had told his pastor, his mother and his sister about the abuse.
Investigators spoke with the girl's mother, who said Holl acknowledged the sexual abuse "but said that it did not go very far and that it was just touching." The woman stated she believed it had happened two or three times "and that it was equal touching between Holl and the victim."
The woman, who described her daughter as "a very curious little girl," said she put a stop to the abuse after the meeting, but never reported it to law enforcement. The mother stated she "did not have the strength to say no."