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Deputy accused of sexual contact with boys at Henning camp

A Mille Lacs County sheriff’s deputy is facing felony charges after allegedly having sexual contact with four boys at a camp near Henning last month.

The 29-year-old deputy, Aaron Heuer of Isle, Minn., appeared in Otter Tail County District Court on Tuesday, charged with four felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four felony counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He is being held at the Otter Tail County Jail. Bail was set at $250,000 without conditions or $100,000 with conditions.

A preliminary investigation by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified incidents at two locations in June, the first being the alleged incident at the camp near Henning, and the second on a separate fishing trip in Aitkin County that was unrelated to the camp.

In the first incident, Heuer is alleged to have touched four male victims between the ages of 8-10, and to have instructed them to have sexual contact with him, according to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Additional incidents are alleged to have taken place with two of the victims on the separate fishing trip.

Heuer has been placed on administrative leave from the Mille Lacs County Sheriff’s Office, where he has worked for the past six years.

The Henning camp, Lutheran Island Camp and Retreat Center, earlier this week released a statement on its website regarding the incident.

“We are shocked and appalled by the charges against Mille Lacs Deputy Sheriff Aaron Heuer,” the camp’s leadership team wrote in the statement. “We are profoundly saddened that children at our camp were hurt by the actions of an adult in a trusted position.”

Heuer volunteered as a fishing guide at the camp from June 9-21, according to the statement. He is no longer affiliated with the camp, and camp leaders have said they are fully cooperating with authorities on the investigation.

Bureau agents are conducting the investigation with the assistance of the Mille Lacs, Otter Tail and Aitkin County sheriff’s offices, along with the Aitkin County Attorney’s Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Otter Tail County Attorney’s Office.

Marie Johnson

Marie Johnson joined the Perham Focus more than five years ago, and has since worn many hats as writer, editor and page designer. She lives in rural Frazee with her husband, Dan, their one-year-old son, Simon, and their yellow lab, Louisa. 

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