A 23-year-old former employee of St. Michael Catholic Church in Prior Lake has been charged with having sex with an underage girl.
Mitchell Bolkcom of Grand Forks, N.D., was charged Sept. 16 in Hennepin County District Court with third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He was arrested in Bloomington, where he was living at the time of the alleged offenses.
According to the charges, Bolkcom met the girl, who was 16 at the time, during a church retreat in 2015, when he was an employee of the church. The two exchanged phone numbers and made plans to meet again to talk about the victim’s depression.
At first, Bolkcom met with the girl at coffee shops, but then moved the meetings to his Bloomington apartment. From January to May 2016, Bolkcom met with the girl at his apartment, where their encounters escalated to include sex, according to the charges. Before the fourth get-together involving sex, the victim told Bolkcom that “she did not think it was a good idea,” according to the criminal complaint.
The girl later told police that after she expressed reservations, Bolkcom persuaded her to come over by telling her that he had only seven more years to live due to a heart condition and that he would soon leave for a job in Florida.
After the girl’s fourth visit to Bolkcom’s apartment, she informed her priest about the relationship. The priest informed the archdiocese, whose officials called police. In a police interview, Bolkcom admitted to having sex with the girl, according to the complaint.
At the time he was charged, Bolkcom was working for the church and for FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) at the St. Thomas Aquinas Newman Center at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, according to a statement from the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.
Bolkcom posted $50,000 bond and was released from jail Tuesday.