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Murdock man faces criminal sex charges for assault of teen

BENSON -- Gary Wayne Rudningen, 60, of Murdock, is seeking a jury trial on two felony, first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges. Rudningen pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month. He allegedly sexually assaulted the 15-year-old g...

BENSON -- Gary Wayne Rudningen, 60, of Murdock, is seeking a jury trial on two felony, first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.

Rudningen pleaded not guilty to the charges earlier this month. He allegedly sexually assaulted the 15-year-old girl in his home on May 3.

According to Swift County Attorney Robin Finke, Rudningen's jury trial has been set for June 4-6 in Swift County District Court.

The charges were filed in August after a Swift County Human Services Child Protection agent and sheriff's deputy interviewed the girl and her mother regarding the alleged incident. The girl, who is now 16, told authorities that she used to stay at Rudningen's home while her mother was at work. She said she had stayed over at the home for years and that everything was fine until that night.

According to the complaint, the girl told the investigators that Rudningen approached her while they watched TV, kissed her and asked her to sit with him. She said she was scared and refused. She said he persisted, placed his hand down her shorts and sexually assaulted her. He then told her "don't let any boys do that to you," the complaint states.

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The girl reported the incident to her mother when she returned two days later. The maximum penalty for first-degree criminal sexual conduct is 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine.

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