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Dickinson man faces federal charge of attempted solicitation of a minor

Bobby Abplanalp
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Originally charged with felony human trafficking in Burleigh County, Bobby A. Abplanalp is facing a federal charge for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor in U.S. District Court in Bismarck, according to a federal indictment document obtained Tuesday by The Press.

Abplanalp has a jury trial scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Feb. 4 in Bismarck, said U.S. District Court clerk Kari Knudson. Abplanalp faces the charge after being indicted by a federal grand jury, according to the court document, which is dated Sept. 18, 2013.

A Felony A charge filed in June in Burleigh County was dismissed following the filing of federal charges, said county Assistant State’s Attorney Pamela Nesvig.

According to the federal filing: Between the dates of June 6 and June 12, Abplanalp used “facility of interstate and foreign commerce to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor female to engage in prostitution and sexual activity.”

Burleigh County court documents accused Abplanalp, a former Dickinson resident, of traveling to Bismarck to meet with a 17-year-old girl on or around June 7. Abplanalp was charged in Burleigh County on June 13 and spent several months incarcerated at the Burleigh County Detention Center before being released Sept. 26, according to a jail employee.

Originally from Utah, Abplanalp was hired in May as The Press’ sports editor. He is no longer an employee of The Press. According to his Facebook page, Abplanalp began employment with Nabors Drilling International Limited as a financial record keeper on Oct. 1.

When reached Tuesday, a human resources representative with Nabors’ Williston office said the company does not release employment status information and referred The Press to an automated employment check service. Knudson said Abplanalp’s release from the BCDC was contingent upon a number of conditions.

Messages for U.S. District Attorney Gary Delorme and federal public defender William Schmidt, who is listed as Abplanalp’s counsel, were not immediately returned Tuesday afternoon.  

Bryan Horwath
A Wisconsin native, Horwath has been covering news in the Oil Patch of North Dakota since 2012. Horwath currently serves as the senior agriculture and political reporter for The Dickinson Press and, despite the team's tendency to always let him down, remains a diehard Minnesota Vikings fan.
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