A Dickinson man has been charged with promoting an obscene performance by a minor, a Class A felony.
Alvin Matthew Keller, 58, appeared before Judge William A. Herauf in Stark County District Court Wednesday.
According to the criminal complaint, Keller, knowing the character and content of a performance, produced, directed or promoted any obscene performance in Stark County, which included sexual conduct by a person who was a minor at the time of the performance.
Keller "took a number of photographs of a young girl engaged in sexual conduct," specifically "lewd exhibition of the buttocks, breasts or genitals."
In North Dakota, a Class A felony carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail and/or a $20,000 fine, and minimum fines totaling $1,025.
Assistant State's Attorney James Hope recommended bond at $150,000 cash.
"The allegations here are very serious. During the sequence of events that led to Mr. Keller's arrest, there was great concern that he may have done harm to himself," Hope said. "I also always have concerns in situations like this, where there are allegations like this. These are very volatile."
He added, "I think Mr. Keller should just sit."
Hope noted that the case is part of an ongoing investigation, "to see if there are other similar incidences or other acts that are akin to this."
Herauf ordered that Keller have no contact with the victim, as well as the victim's immediate family, which includes parents and "other kids." He was also ordered to turn any firearms over to Stark County's Sheriff's Office.
"This is all a misunderstanding, as far as I'm concerned," Keller told the court. "But I guess I can't prove myself, apparently."
A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 18 at 2:30 p.m. at the Stark County Courthouse, 51 Third St. E.