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Former Lawmaker from North Dakota Confessed to Travelling to Europe for Alleged Participation in Inappropriate Acts with Minors

Former Lawmaker from North Dakota Confessed to Travelling to Europe for Alleged Participation in Inappropriate Acts with Minors

A former North Dakota lawmaker, once a prominent figure in the Legislature, has reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The charge against him involves allegations of traveling to Europe with the intention of engaging in illegal activities with a minor.

Ray Holmberg, a former Republican state senator from Grand Forks, recently signed a plea agreement at the age of 80. The filing was made on Monday. He has agreed to plead guilty to charges related to traveling with the intention to engage in illicit sexual activity.

According to the plea agreement, prosecutors have decided to recommend the lower end of the sentencing guideline range and also move to dismiss Holmberg’s additional charge of receipt and attempted receipt of child sexual abuse material. As part of the plea agreement, he would be required to register as a sex offender.

According to the document, the maximum penalties include a prison sentence of up to 30 years, a fine of $250,000, and lifetime supervised release. According to Holmberg attorney Mark Friese, prosecutors are expected to suggest a prison term of approximately three to four years. The court will proceed with a plea hearing and request a presentence investigation report, according to his statement. The sentencing is expected to take place in the upcoming autumn, according to his statement.

According to Friese, the travel offense does not come with a mandatory sentence, while the receipt charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison.

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According to prosecutors, Holmberg made multiple trips to Prague in the Czech Republic between June 2011 and November 2016, with the alleged intention of engaging in illegal activities involving a minor. The indictment against Holmberg was made public in October 2023.

Holmberg had a long and distinguished career in the Legislature, spanning from 1976 until mid-2022. After initially declaring his decision not to run for another term, he ultimately stepped down in light of a report by The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The Associated Press revealed that the report uncovered that he had engaged in extensive text messaging with an individual incarcerated for possessing child sexual abuse material.

The trial was set to commence in September in Fargo. At first, he entered a plea of not guilty.

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