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Man charged with criminal sexual conduct

JACKSON -- A man who was unsuccessful in his bid for a county commissioner seat in Jackson County's fourth district during the 2010 election was recently charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in Jackson County District Court, according to a criminal complaint.

The court document states Dennis Eugene Edwards, 51, of Jackson, is accused of engaging in sexual contact with a person between the ages of 13 and 16 years old while he was in a position of authority over the victim, who reported the alleged contact Dec. 10.

The victim said Edwards purchased sex toys and thong underwear for her and has been touching her inappropriately since September.

She said he also requested that she take pictures of herself using the sex toys, which she refused to do. She alleged that he ripped one of her shirts while abusing her.

While executing a search warrant, authorities located thong underwear and several sex toys. When Edwards was being questioned by officers, he allegedly admitted giving the teenager the sex toys, but was adamant in stating he didn't touch the girl in any way sexually. He said the teenager causes problems whenever she doesn't get her way.

Edwards applied for and was granted a public defender. Bond was set at $80,000, with conditions of release to include no contact with the victim, no alcohol or controlled substance use and no entrance to the victim's residence. He is scheduled to appear in court Monday.

According to the Minnesota electronic court document filing system, Edwards has a previous conviction for disorderly conduct in Nobles County from February 2008.