Lake Benton man indicted on rape, solicitation charges in Brookings County

A Lake Benton, Minnesota man has been indicted on five felony counts in Brookings County.

Eighteen-year-old Tristen Simonsen is charged with one count of first degree rape, two counts of second degree rape and two counts of solicitation of a minor.

A Brookings County grand Jury handed down the indictment Wednesday,.

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 all involve underage girls. 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 have also learned of possible incidents in Minnesota.

Simonsen was arrested earlier this month.

He’s being held at the Brookings County Jail with bond set at $25,000 cash only. If he’s 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. Solicitation of a minor carries a maximum penalty of ten-years in prison and a $20,000 fine.


June 18, 2021