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Ellsworth man gets prison for sexual assault

An Ellsworth man was sentenced early last week in Pierce County Circuit Court to three years prison for third degree sexual assault.

Dylan M. Berner, 21, was also put on three years extended supervision upon his release by Circuit Court Judge Joseph Boles.

Berner was charged last August with repeated sexual assault of a child, a Class C felony, but pled guilty to the third degree charge as part of an agreement.

The charges stem from an incident in River Falls from 2011.

According to the criminal complaint, River Falls police were notified of the assault, which occurred during the city’s annual River Falls Days celebration.

The victim’s mother told police through therapy they deemed the issue was resolved, as it was determined the contact was consensual. Police said otherwise, as the victim was 13 at the time and Berner was 18, which due to the age difference made it illegal.

The victim explained the two communicated by phone previously and met for the first time at the River Falls Days parade, held Friday night, then hung around the rest of the weekend. She remembered on that Saturday, she was at her dad’s residence outside of River Falls, and while he was working, she had sexual contact with Berner multiple times, which continued throughout the weekend.

The victim also said her mother didn’t know about the assaults until six months later and communication with Berner pretty much ended after that weekend. A friend of the victim was also interviewed and confirmed her story.

Berner was interviewed and admitted to having sexual contact with the victim, but was unsure about the number of times that weekend.

Berner has had multiple run-ins with law enforcement over the last five years. According to online court records, he pled guilty to fourth degree sexual assault in 2010, receiving stolen property, burglary, two counts of receiving stolen property and disorderly conduct in 2011, theft and sex with child age 16 or older in 2012 and operating with a suspended license in 2013.

Conditions upon his release include paying costs within three months of discharge, provide DNA sample, and pay surcharge and register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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