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Criminal sexual conduct trial starts for prominent local businessman and hog farmer Robert Briard

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Jury selection finished Tuesday in the Robert William Briard case.

In all, 12 jurors and two alternates were selected to hear the case. Becker County prosecutors have charged Briard, 61, of 38501 County Road 56, Frazee, with a half-dozen counts of criminal sexual conduct.

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The charges were the result of an investigation that started after a woman contacted the sheriff's department to report he had allegedly had sexual contact with her in 1983 when she was under the age of 10, touching her under her clothing. Briard had a significant relationship with the girl.

Briard is also accused of alleged contact with another girl under the age of 10 in the summer of 2004.

Briard is also accused of engaging in nonconsensual sexual contact with a woman over a four to five year period in various places in Becker County, according to court records.

District Judge Peter Irvine is presiding over the trial, which is being held at the Becker County Courthouse in Detroit Lakes.

It will resume at 9 a.m. Wednesday.

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