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After sex assault charges, Halstad mayor steps aside

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The mayor of Halstad, Minn., says he will take a leave of absence after being accused in a sexual assault of a female acquaintance.

Steve Sortland, 44, is charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault. The woman said she and Sortland earlier had consensual sex, but that he later forced her into a sex act she did not want to do.

In a letter presented to the Halstad City Council Monday night, he said he was taking the leave to protect the good name of the city, Forum Communications reports.

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