Lake Benton man accused of raping underage girls in Brookings County

A young man from Lake Benton, Minnesota is facing rape charges in Brookings County.

Eighteen-year-old Tristen Simonsen is charged with one count of first degree rape and two counts of second degree rape, involving three different victims.

Brookings County States Attorney Dan Nelson says it’s alleged that Simonsen would contact the female victims through social media and arrange meetings in Brookings County.

The charges involve a 12-year-old, a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old. Two allegedly occurred when Simonsen was 18, the other when he was 17. Nelson says because of the seriousness of the incident, Simonsen will also be charged as an adult on that count. Investigators also learned of a possible incident in Minnesota and informed the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department.

Simonsen was interviewed by the Brookings County Sheriff’s Department on Friday and placed under arrest.

At a hearing Monday, Simonsen’s bond was set at $25,000 cash only. If he is able to bond out, Simonsen can have no contact with the victims nor with anyone under the age of 16.

A conviction of first-degree rape carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, second-degree rape is punishable by up to 50-years in prison. Each also includes a possible fine of up to $50,000.


June 8, 2021