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Aaron Hjermstad, Former Youth Basketball Coach, Charged With Sexually Assaulting Players

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A former youth basketball coach in the Twin Cities is accused of sexually assaulting young players who stayed the night at his home.

Aaron Hjermstad, 41, of Brooklyn Center, faces counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, and soliciting a child to engage in a sex act, according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.

Hjermstad, a former teacher at Mastery School in Minneapolis and basketball coach for Hospitality House, made his first court appearance Monday. His bail was set at $500,000.

The first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge stems from an incident that allegedly happened a few years ago. According to a criminal complaint, a student who played for Hjermstad told investigators that his former coach assaulted him while he was staying at his home.

The child (now 14) reported that it happened when he was either 11 or 12, after he'd stayed at his coach's house multiple times. The child said he woke up in the middle of the night to Hjermstad assaulting him.

The two other charges are connected with another young victim, age 12, who told investigators that earlier this year, while the child was staying at Hjermstad's home, Hjermstad offered to pay him if he engaged in a sex act.

The request was the night before a big game. The victim's mother told investigators that during the game her child walked off the court, took off his jersey and threw it at the coach, the complaint states. He quit the team and said he didn't want to play for Hjermstad anymore.

The same child also reported another incident that happened what he was 11 and staying at Hjermstad's house. He said he woke up in the night to Hjermstad touching his foot with his penis.

According to prosecutors, Hjermstad's next court appearance is slated for July 29.

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