State Lawmaker To Plead Guilty On Lurid Charge

( – A former North Dakota lawmaker has agreed a plea deal with prosecutors after they charged him for traveling to Europe to engage in sexual activity with a minor. Republican Ray Holmberg agreed to plead guilty to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual activity, which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. The agreement means prosecutors will not pursue separate charges of receiving child abuse materials and will ask the judge not to impose the maximum sentence.

Prosecutors said the 80-year-old former state Senator traveled to the Czech Republic numerous times between 2011 and 2016 intended to pay for sexual activity with minors. He also exchanged text messages with a convicted child abuser, from whom he obtained explicit material.

During his political career, Holmberg chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, which set the state budget and allowed him to schedule his own taxpayer-funded journeys abroad. It is unclear if the illegal sexual activity occurred during these trips.

Holmberg’s attorney, Mark Friese, said his client will likely serve three to four years in jail for the crime and confirmed that sentencing will take place in the fall.

The investigation started after a discovery that he had used his official devices to exchange text messages with Nicholas Morgan-Derosier, who is serving a 40-year term in federal prison for offenses related to child abuse images. This prompted law enforcement officers to conduct a search of his home, uncovering more evidence.

The Republican was the longest-serving Senator in North Dakota and one of the longest-serving in the United States. The former school counselor resigned from politics in 2022 after representing Grand Forks for over 45 years.

In 2020, Caton Todd alleged that Holmberg sexually assaulted him at an apartment in Miami. He made the allegations on Twitter, stating that he woke up to find the former Senator performing lurid acts on him. Holmberg allegedly told Todd that he was to blame for the assault.

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