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Charges: National Guard recruiter sexually assaulted girl, 17, who applied to join

The assault happened when she was taking an eligibility test at the Bemidji Armory.
Author:
Ryan Rivers

A Minnesota National Guard recruiter has been accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl during a test if she was eligible to join.

Charges filed in Beltrami County allege that Staff Sgt. Ryan Rivers performed oral sex on, and received oral sex from the victim at the Bemidji Armory last month. Authorities were alerted to the incident by Blackduck High School, which the girl attends.

Since the charges were revealed, FOX 9 reports the National Guard has reassigned Rivers to administrative duties at a different location, with his position at the National Guard under review.

According to the charges, the girl had arrived at the Armory to take her pre-Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test (ASVAB) on Jan. 20, where she was interviewed by Rivers, 33, who lives in Bemidji.

Rivers allegedly told the girl he was "testing her trust," before asking her if she was "okay with anything."

When the girl said she was, he took her into a room with three doors and a yellow couch where he began kissing her, undressing her and groping her before the pair engaged in oral sex.

A friend of the girl told police that she knew Rivers through the Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) at school, where both girls attend, and said they had gone on a field trip to Fort Ripley with Rivers last spring.

After the alleged assault, Rivers continued texting the victim, including sending picture of his penis along with a message telling her to "come over and hop on this."

The girl told police she regretted what happened and remember thinking "I really don't want to do this" during their encounter.

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When interviewed by police, Rivers acknowledged knowing the victim through Junior ROTC and said he met her for interview on Jan. 20, but said she didn't meet the physical requirements for the National Guard.

He said that the victim brought up things of a sexual nature during the interview, claiming she told him she had recently been the victim of a sexual assault.

Police also learned that Rivers had two cellphones, one for work and one for personal use. When they told him they were taking the phones for evidence, he said: "You're not seizing my cellphones" and put them back in his pocket.

He was then placed under arrest for noncompliance. While at the Armory, investigators noted there was a room with 3 doors and yellow couch, as described by the victim.

Rivers has been charged with 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct with by a person in a position of authority.

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