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Charges: Assistant principal made fake social media accounts to solicit kids for sex

Officials are asking for the public's help to determine if there are any more victims.

An assistant principal at Bemidji Middle School is accused of soliciting children for sex, and investigators want the public's help to determine if there are any more victims.

Brandon Bjerknes, 34, was arrested Thursday and charged Friday with two counts of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child.

He's accused of setting up Facebook, Snapchat and email accounts using a fake identity – a 13-year-old boy named Brett Larson, who goes to school at Morgan Park Middle School in Duluth (the school has been closed for years) – to talk to kids, the Beltrami Sheriff's Office said in an email news release.

Officials are asking parents to talk with their own children to see if they've had contact with a Brett Larson on social media. If they have, contact the sheriff's office at 281-333-9111.

According to the criminal complaint:

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office started investigating the Brett Larson social media accounts back in January, and on March 20 discovered that the IP address associated with them belonged to Bjerknes.

During the investigation, officials found Snapchat conversations on Bjerknes' phone between the username "BrettLarson6969" and a 13 year old and 14 year old. Texts and photos were sent back and forth between "BrettLarson6969" and the two juveniles that were "relating to or describing sexual conduct."

Bjerknes admitted he knew the victims were under 15 when he chatted with them between January and March of this year.

Bemidji Area Schools says it received a complaint about Bjerknes on March 20, and he was immediately placed on administrative leave, adding: "All complaints regarding school district employees are taken seriously and will work with all appropriate agencies to ensure that a comprehensive investigation is completed."

Bjerknes became principal at the middle school in 2014, according to WDAZ.

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