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Youth basketball coach in Minneapolis charged with sexually assaulting student athlete

Aaron Hjermstad had worked at the charter school Mastery School and Hospitality House Youth Development in Minneapolis

A Brooklyn Center basketball coach has been charged with sexually assaulting a child athlete.

Aaron Hjermstad, 41, was working at the Mastery School and Hospitality House Youth Development in Minneapolis when he allegedly assaulted on multiple occasions a preteen athlete who was staying at his house, according to charges filed Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court.

Hjermstad has been charged with one count each of soliciting a child and second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

In addition, the complaint says, Hjermstad has previously been accused of sexual assault by a different player. That case is being reinvestigated.

The Star Tribune reports that the Mastery School, a kindergarten through 6th-grade charter school, has confirmed Hjermstad no longer works there.

According to the complaint, two brothers stayed at Hjmerstad’s home the night before a game in February. Hjermstad asked one of the boys to perform a sex act in exchange for money. Afterwards, Herjmstad threatened he would pull him out of the game if the boy left the room to tell his brother.

The boys’ mother also told Brooklyn Center police her son had been offered money to not cooperate with law enforcement, though the complaint does not specify who made the alleged offer.

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The next day, the boy "unexpectedly walked off the court, threw his jersey at [Hjermstad] and quit the team," his mother told law enforcement, according to the complaint.

In October 2019, the complaint says, the boy was staying the night at Hjermstad’s home, lying in bed when Hjermstad inappropriately touched him. In another undated incident, the boy awoke to find Hjermstad lying on top of him.

Hjermstad would also make the boys shower in order to play video games whenever they visited his house, the complaint says. 

He has been charged via summons, and is not currently in custody.

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