Apple Valley man, 41, pleads guilty to posing as a woman to befriend teen

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 11, 2014 - 10:00 PM

An Apple Valley man pleaded guilty Friday to posing as a woman in order to communicate with his daughter’s 18-year-old friend.

Robert R. Russell, 44, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court to violating a harassment restraining order. The woman had filed the order against Russell after he professed his love for her.

The plea agreement calls for a stay of imposition when Russell is sentenced on Aug. 29, meaning he’ll avoid prison time and could face probation instead.

Russell’s attorney, Nathan Hansen, said he would also reserve the right to argue for a stay of execution, which means Russell’s criminal record would show that he pleaded guilty to the charge but would not show a conviction.

Russell testified Friday that he contacted the woman between October 2013 and March 2014.

Russell’s testimony didn’t touch upon details in the criminal complaint filed against him. The complaint revealed that he used Tumblr to pose as “Jessica Rosemary” in order to talk to the woman, who first befriended his daughter in 2012. He also used a random residential address in Mason City, Iowa, as Jessica’s home and drove there to send the woman a package, the complaint said.

The woman witnessed a car accident in January and called Jessica to talk. Russell answered the phone and insisted that he was Jessica, according to the complaint.

CHAO XIONG

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