High Profile Sex Abuse Suspect Appears in Court

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An high profile sex abuse suspect appeared in Pennington County District Court this week.

Xavier Hightower, 28, appeared Monday before District Judge Tamara Yon, accused of victimizing a child.

Hightower asked the Judge to alter conditions for release, regarding contact with anyone under the age of 18, saying he would like to see his sons, who live with the alleged victim. The judge changed conditions but said that visitation must take place at a neutral location, away from the victim.
The allegations come after a child, who was acquainted with Hightower, and less than 13 years old, told investigators that he had sexually abused her multiple times over the last two to three years. All other conditions remain in affect, reaffirming Judge Kurt Marben’s prior orders.

Hightower was taken into custody September 21st, following an investigation initiated by Thief River Falls School Resource Officer Dustin Arlt after the child had an “anxiety attack” last week during class and disclosed the alleged abuse. Working with a Forensic Investigator at the Family Advocacy Center in Bemidji, the child described multiple sex acts that allegedly occured late at night and were painful.

Hightower is charged with four felony counts of criminal-sexual-conduct, three in the first degree and one second-degree charge. If found guilty, the maximum penalty for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the First Degree is 40 years in prison and a $40,000 fine.

Hightower, who has not yet entered a plea in the case, is currently out on bail.

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