A onetime northern Minnesota police officer was sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a teenager and stalking her while on duty.
Joshua Demmerly, 30, of Warroad, was sentenced last week in Roseau County District Court to a three-year term after pleading guilty to kidnapping, third-degree criminal sexual conduct and stalking in connection with the alleged assaults, which spanned from 2017 to early this year.
With credit for time in jail since his arrest, Demmerly will serve nearly 1½ years in prison and the balance on supervised release. He also was ordered by Judge Tamara Yon to never possess any gun or other dangerous weapon for the rest of his life, ending any possibility of a return to duty as an armed law enforcement officer.
Demmerly entered what is known as an Alford plea, meaning he acknowledged there is enough evidence to win conviction but maintained his innocence. The case was investigated by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA). Demmerly was first placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation and has since left the department.
Demmerly's accuser, now an adult, told BCA agents of more than 10 sexual assaults by the officer and accurately described the interior of his home, where they spent the night "on multiple occasions." The assaults allegedly occurred while the accuser was 16 and 17.
Demmerly allegedly said there was a felony investigation underway against the teen and he could offer protection from it. He also was accused of saying there was a search warrant out for the teenager's phone but would not execute it if the teen spent more time with him.
The accuser reported receiving repeated phone calls and text messages from Demmerly expressing his love. Demmerly went so far as sending photos of him holding a gun to his head and threatening to kill himself, the criminal complaint said.
Demmerly also was accused of pulling the teen over while on patrol and ordering the teen to exit the car and kiss him.