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Middle River man faces charges of paying teen for sex

GRAND FORKS -- A Middle River man has been accused of paying a 14-year-old girl for sex at an East Grand Forks motel, but the man's lawyer says his client was in another town working with friends when the alleged incident happened.

"We don't know whether it's a mistaken identity or if it's a girl that has some fabrication issues," attorney Alan Fish said.

Darrin Roy Anderson, 34, has pleaded not guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of soliciting a child to have sex, two counts of furnishing a minor with booze and two counts of prostitution. If convicted on all charges, he could face as many as 40 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint:

The girl told East Grand Forks detective Rodney Hajicek she met Anderson's cousin on Facebook. The cousin gave her Anderson's number, and she started exchanging text messages with Anderson.

The cousin told the girl that Anderson would pay her $150 for a handjob and $300 for sex. "She did not know what she would do because she was scared," the complaint says.

She agreed to have sex with Anderson, then arranged to meet him at the East Grand Inn about noon Aug. 12. "She felt it was something she needed to do to obtain money," the complaint states.

The girl told the detective that her friend, who was also 14 years old, went with her to the motel because she was scared. In the room, Anderson offered the girl UV Blue Vodka, and she drank some of it straight. They talked and then had sex. Afterward, she put on her clothes and got her friend out of the bathroom.

The girl talked with Anderson and told him she and her friend were going to the river to go swimming. "There was $300 on the dresser for her, and she put the money in her pocket before they left," the complaint says.

The girl's parents learned of the incident and called East Grand Forks police Aug. 15. At the suggestion of the detective, the girl's mother posed as her daughter in exchanging text messages with Anderson to arrange another meeting Aug. 18 at the same motel. Anderson had agreed to pay her again for sex, but the meeting never happened.

The girl told police she told Anderson she was 14 years old. She said she felt intoxicated by the vodka she drank. The girl's friend told police she also drank vodka in the room. Both girls picked Anderson out of a photo lineup.

Aside from Anderson, no one else has been charged in the case, Hajicek said. The detective said he's not sure if Anderson's "cousin" is a real person.

Asked why the girl might have felt she needed the money, Hajicek said, "I just think she's a young girl who wanted to have some extra cash."

Anderson was booked Oct. 28 at the jail in Crookston and posted $1,000 in cash to bail out the next day. He has a pretrial hearing set for Jan. 19 in Crookston.

Fish said he doesn't know how Anderson got involved in the matter, but said an acquaintance has used Anderson's cell phone when working on the road in the past. Fish said his client is married with children.

The complaint says the girl told her parents the man she met at the motel was 26 or 27 years old and told the detective that he stood 5-foot-6. Fish points out that his client is 34 years old and, according to his driver's license, stands 5-foot-10. Fish also said the girl told authorities the man she met drove a Dodge, but that his client owns a Chevy.

"It is definitely a contested matter," Fish said of the case.