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MN man faces multiple child sex assault charges

Phillip A. Larson

A 38-year-old Chisago City, Minn. man is facing multiple felony charges in St. Croix County Circuit Court, including three counts of first degree child sexual assault - sexual contact with a child under age 13 and three felony counts of child enticement.

Phillip Andrew Larson was charged Friday, July 25 with the six felony charges. Bail was set at $50,000. He remains in St. Croix County Jail in Hudson.

According to the criminal complaint, Larson was camping with his fiancee and her children at Highland Ridge Campground (35 Dugan Rd., Spring Valley) in the Town of Eau Galle when the incidents allegedly occurred the weekend of June 20-22. They allegedly involved his fiancee’s 10-year-old daughter, and two girls from a neighboring campsite with whom she had become friends: ages 12 and 13.

On the way home from camping that weekend, the 10-year-old allegedly passed her mother a note saying she didn’t like Larson. When her mother pressed her for details, the girl told her Larson had touched the other girls inappropriately while riding in his van with him to the campground restrooms, and that one girl was so frightened she urinated on herself. The girl also told her mother that Larson touched her “privates” when she was on the road with him, according to the complaint. Larson is an over-the-road truck driver.

Members of the Lakes Area (Minn.) Police Department, St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office and Chisago County Social Services in Minnesota interviewed the three girls about the alleged incidents. All three girls reported Larson touching their breasts and groin areas through their clothing while riding in the van at the campground. The girls allegedly took turns sitting on his lap and steering the van, while he controlled the gas and brake pedals, according to the complaint. The girls reported that Larson was drunk, and was drinking alcohol out of a bottle mixed with Coke.

They also reported playing a game with Larson he called “ninja,” which involved one person hiding in the woods while the others went to find him or her. The 12-year-old reported that while playing “ninja,” Larson allegedly hid with her, repeatedly touched her groin area and pulled her back toward him when she tried to get away. She also said Larson tried to reach under the blankets and touch her in the night while she slept with the other children in a tent, according to the complaint.

Larson’s fiancee allegedly told law enforcement that when she questioned Larson, he denied the allegations at first, then said the 10-year-old wouldn’t lie. According to the complaint, he said he didn’t remember doing anything like that, but admitted to being intoxicated.

Larson was scheduled to appear before St. Croix County Circuit Court Judge Eric Lundell Tuesday, July 29 at 2 p.m. for a preliminary hearing. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in prison and and fines up to $100,000.

Sarah Nigbor

Sarah J. Nigbor serves as a regional editor for RiverTown Multimedia, a position she began in April 2017. She joined RiverTown Multimedia in October 2013 as a news reporter for the New Richmond News, before being appointed editor of the Pierce County Herald in February 2015. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Spanish and French in 2001. She completed a minor in journalism in 2004. 

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