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A prominent Twin Cities lawyer who was in line to become president of the Minnesota State Bar Association was charged Monday with plying a teenage boy with alcohol at his home and then raping him.
The charges against Aaron F. Biber, of the Gray Plant Mooty law firm, say he arranged in a phone call to meet the boy for more sex, unaware that police were listening.
"Let's get this party started," Biber allegedly told the boy.
Police said they arrested Biber, 46, on Friday at the Eden Prairie Mall as he arrived there to meet the boy.
The allegations landed Biber in jail over the weekend and stunned those who knew him as a past president of the Hennepin County Bar Association and a "super lawyer" who was co-chair of the antitrust and trade regulation team at Gray Plant Mooty.
"We are deeply saddened by this completely unexpected news," read a statement issued Monday by the law firm's board chair, Tamara Hjelle Olsen. Biber has been placed on leave, she said.
Biber was also treasurer of the Minnesota State Bar Association, a position that in two years would make him president.
"Biber is a recognizable figure to anyone involved with bar activities (and is made all the more recognizable by the fact that he is one of only a handful of local lawyers who favors wearing a bow tie)," read a posting at MinnLawyer blog discussing his arrest.
Current bar President Leo Brisbois said the bar association will suspend Biber in light of the "deeply troubling" allegations.
His lawyer, Rachael A. Goldberger, said Monday she had no comment. Biber, who is being held on $1 million bail, will make his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
"We'll obviously be asking for lower bail than the county is asking for," Goldberger said.
Biber allegedly knew the boy for four years, and the boy sometimes slept over at Biber's Shorewood home, police said. Biber is married and has at least one child.
The boy said he slept over at Biber's house in early October, when Biber gave him alcohol and then anally raped and sodomized him, police said. The boy was injured during the attack.
Graphic text messages
The boy told someone about the abuse within the past two weeks, and that person reported it to the police, said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. The person's identity and job must remain anonymous, he said.
The boy and his parents then helped the South Lake Minnetonka Police Department catch Biber. They showed police text messages that Biber had sent the boy that included graphic descriptions of sex and photos, along with a request for the boy to send pictures of himself, police said.
Biber allegedly sent some of the texts while in Washington, D.C., last week, one of three cities where Gray Plant Mooty has offices.
Then on Friday, the boy called Biber who, with the police listening, described their earlier sex act and asked to meet the boy for more, police said. He told the boy how to mislead his parents and then drove to Eden Prairie Mall, where he was arrested.
Biber was charged with two felonies: first-degree criminal sexual conduct and solicitation of a child to engage in sexual conduct.
"The evidence made available to us does not reveal any other similar incidences," Freeman said. "It's not to say it didn't happen. It's not to say it did happen. We just don't know."
Matt McKinney • 612-673-7329