By Starrla Cray
DASSEL, MN Two Dassel men allegedly sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl they met online last Monday, according to a press release from the Meeker County Sheriff’s Office and the criminal complaint.
Michael James Rarer, 22, and Kenneth Gerald Cope, 48, were both charged in Meeker County District Court Friday with first-degree criminal sexual assault, a felony, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, a $40,000 fine, or both.
According to the criminal complaint, the 12-year-old victim had been at a shopping center near Coon Rapids April 20 when she accessed a social media website where she was able to get in contact with Rarer, who was previously unknown to her.
Rarer agreed to meet the victim at the mall, and then transported her to his residence, located on the 500 block of Maple Street in Dassel.
While at the home, the girl and Rarer’s roommate, Cope, began consuming alcohol. Rarer reportedly had sexual intercourse with the victim, and then left for work at about 11 p.m.
Later that evening and into the morning, Cope and the victim continued to drink. Cope reportedly had sexual intercourse with the victim and performed other sexual acts.
The next morning, when Rarer returned from work, the girl told him Cope had sexually assaulted her. Rarer then gave a friend $20 to drive the girl to St. Cloud.
According to the complaint, both men believed the girl was between 17 and 20 years old.
The Meeker County Sheriff’s Office learned about the alleged assault through information from the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.
Meeker County deputies obtained a search warrant for the home in Dassel, which has Cope’s name on the lease. Rarer moved in a few weeks ago.
During the investigation, police found drug-related items and about eight grams of methamphetamine.
Rarer was charged with second-degree controlled substance crime, a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, or both.
Cope was charged with providing alcohol to a minor, a gross misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one year in jail, a $3,000 fine, or both.