Minn. mayor charged with criminal sexual conduct

HALSTAD, Minn. (AP) — The mayor of Halstad is accused of forcing a female acquaintance to have sex with him last week.

The Forum newspaper reports 44-year-old Steve Sortland was charged Wednesday with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to the complaint, an employee at the Halstad Cenex called the Norman County sheriff’s office Thursday to report a distraught woman was at the store. Court documents say the woman told deputies she wanted to report something but was afraid for the safety of her children.

KFGO-AM reports the woman sought medical treatment at an emergency room.

Sortland said in court he needs more time to hire an attorney. Bail was set at $75,000.

Halstad is a town of 600 in western Minnesota. The City Council plans a special meeting Monday.

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