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Former Brooklyn Center youth basketball coach charged with criminal sexual conduct

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, Aaron Hjermstad, 41, has been charged in two separate cases.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

MINNEAPOLIS — A former youth basketball coach has been charged first-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of sexually abusing a child he coached.

According to Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman's Office, Aaron Hjermstad, 41, made his first court appearance on Monday after being arrested following a warrant that was issued on June 25.

Hjermstad was also charged in a separate case with second-degree criminal sexual conduct, accused of sexually abusing another child he coached.

According to a criminal complaint, Brooklyn Center police received a report on June 10 of sexual child abuse committed by Hjermstad. A 14-year-old boy told his mother that Hjermstad assaulted him three years earlier, while he was staying at Hjermstad's house in Brooklyn Center.

The victim said Hjermstad was his basketball coach while he was in fifth and sixth grade, during which time he stayed at Hjermstad's house "four or five times," according to the complaint. The victim said the last time he stayed at Hjermstad's house, he awoke to Hjermstad sexually abusing him. The county attorney's office said the incidents occurred between Aug. 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018, when the victim was between 10 and 12 years old.

In a separate case, Hjermstad was charged with second-degree criminal sexual conduct after police received a report from a 12-year-old boy that he had been propositioned by Hjermstad, who was his coach, while he was staying over at his house on Feb. 28, 2020.

The victim described an incident in which Hjermstad sexually abused him, and also inappropriately interacted with the victim between Oct. 1, 2019 and Nov. 6, 2019, the complaint says. 

The victim added that his brother was sleeping in another room when Hjermstad sexually abused him, according to the complaint.

Hjermstad is currently in custody at Hennepin County Jail and scheduled to make his next court appearance on July 29. His bail has been set at $500,000.