Court news: Man gets 9 years in child sex case

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Khadka Bahadar Ghale, 33, of Grand Forks, has been sentenced in Becker County District Court for felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct.

According to court records, about 9:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, 2019, Ghale went to a Lake Park residence after meeting a woman who lived there. They had met on a dating website.

He brought alcohol and was drinking, according to court records. He went to the bathroom and was gone for a long time.

A woman at the house said she saw Ghale come out of the bathroom naked, and a preteen girl walked out behind him, according to court documents. Ghale told the woman that the girl “made him do it to her,” and begged the girl’s mother not to call 911. He tried to take the phone away from her when she called 911.

According to court records, the girl told her mother that Ghale had sex with her and made her drink alcohol. The girl was crying and visibly upset when a deputy arrived at 2:22 a.m. Ghale was found and arrested in Grand Forks four hours later.


On Sept. 15, District Judge Jay Carlson sentenced Ghale to 108 months in prison at St. Cloud, and ordered him to pay a $50 fine and $140 in court fees from his prison wages. He was ordered to register as a predatory offender.

Man accused of terrorizing ER staff at Detroit Lakes hospital

Mark Thomas Hawanchak, 50, of Northfield, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony threats of violence, misdemeanor fifth-degree assault, and misdemeanor fourth-degree criminal damage to property.

According to court records, on Sept. 17, Hawanchak was taken to the Essentia Health St. Mary’s emergency department for clearance and placement, after Rice County sought to commit him for treatment as mentally ill and chemically dependent.

Hawanchak became angry at a nurse for not getting him a soft drink and a nicotine patch as quickly as he wanted. She told him she would order them, but he got angry and told her “I’m out of here,” then left the ER.

The nurse called hospital security, and in the meantime Hawanchak came back into the emergency room, appearing very angry and frightening. He said something about the “god damn soda,” then picked up a computer monitor near the nurse and threw it on the floor near her. He then tried to rip a metal magazine rack off the wall, causing the nurse to retreat -- eventually into the intensive care unit wing -- with Hawanchak following her.

At one point, he looked at the nurse and said “I’m after her,” then pulled shelving down towards the ICU doors and proceeded to rip open the ICU doors, which the nurse had been trying to hold shut against him.

The nurse later said the pursuit was the most frightening thing she’s experienced in her life, and other hospital staff members were also extremely alarmed for their safety and the safety of the targeted nurse, according to the criminal complaint.

On Sept. 18, District Judge Jay Carlson set cash bail for Hawanchak at $2,000 or bond at $10,000, with standard conditions of release, or bond at $20,000 without conditions.


Drug charge dropped in jail meth case

Richard Anthony Balsimo, 33, of St. Paul, has had a felony drug charge dismissed in Becker County District Court.

According to court records, on Dec. 29, 2018, as Balsimo was being released from the Becker County Jail, a correctional officer saw a small baggie of meth fall out of one of his shoes, which were being returned to him after 12 days in jail. The meth weighed .65 grams with packaging.

Public defender Andrew Berger successfully argued that the drug charge lacked probable cause, since the shoes were supposed to have been thoroughly searched when Balsimo entered the jail 12 days earlier, and had been out of Balsimo’s control since then.

On Sept. 3, District Judge Jay Carlson granted Berger’s motion to dismiss. In a four-page order, Carlson agreed that the felony fifth-degree controlled substance charge failed to meet the standards of probable cause, and dismissed the charge.

Man accused in 90 mph police chase through Callaway

David Keaton Keezer, 23, of White Earth, has been charged in Becker County District Court with felony fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and misdemeanor DWI.

According to court records, shortly before 8 p.m. Sept. 15, a Callaway police officer tried to pull over a vehicle on Highway 59 for driving without headlights on, even though it was almost totally dark.

The vehicle, driven by Keezer, sped up to 90 mph in a 60 mph zone and went through Callaway at 90 mph, hitting stop sticks placed by other police officers on Highway 59. The tires were deflated but the vehicle did not stop until the Callaway officer executed a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver and ended the chase.

Keezer told officers that he knew they were trying to stop him, but he “thought it was Talladega Nights (a racing movie)” and that his wife, who he talks to through his mind, was daring him to flee. He admitted using marijuana, Valium and snorting Percocet that day, and appeared drowsy and slow to react to questions. A blood sample was sent to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lab for analysis.


On Sept. 17, District Judge Steven Cahill set cash bail for Keezer at $500 or bond at $5,000, with standard conditions of release, or bond at $10,000 without conditions.

Frazee woman charged with being fugitive from justice

Chelsea Rose Ann Shore, 22, of Frazee, has been charged in Becker County District Court with being a fugitive from justice from another state, a felony.

According to court records, on Sept. 29, she was arrested in Becker County on a Becker County warrant for failure to appear in court. She was also wanted in Cass County, N.D., for identity theft.

On Oct. 1, she waived her right to an extradition hearing, and District Judge Galen Vaa granted her request for a public defender and ordered her held in the Becker County Jail for pick-up by Cass County authorities.

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