Ex-Lawmaker Served 45 Years, Faces Sex Crimes Charges

Former North Dakota state Sen. Ray Holmberg is accused of traveling to Prague for sex with minor
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 31, 2023 9:04 AM CDT
Ex-Lawmaker Accused of Prague Trip for Sex With Minor
Then-North Dakota Sen. Ray Holmberg is seen during a meeting at the state Capitol on Jan. 7, 2009, in Bismarck, North Dakota.   (AP Photo/Will Kincaid, File)

A former longtime North Dakota lawmaker has been indicted on a federal charge alleging he traveled to Prague with the intent to rape a minor. The four-page indictment against former Republican state Sen. Ray Holmberg also charges him with one count of receiving images depicting child sexual abuse. The indictment was filed Thursday in federal court in North Dakota, per the AP. It accuses the 79-year-old Holmberg of traveling several times from North Dakota to the Czech Republic between about June 2011 and November 2016 with the intent to rape a person under the age of 18.

Holmberg served more than 45 years in the North Dakota Senate until his resignation last year, after local media outlet the Forum of Fargo-Moorhead revealed he exchanged text messages with a person who was jailed on charges related to child sexual abuse images. Holmberg, a retired school counselor, chaired the state's powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which writes budgets.

He was reimbursed roughly $126,000 for nearly 70 out-of-state trips from 2013 to mid-April 2022 to places that included four dozen US cities, as well as China, Canada, Puerto Rico, and several European countries, according to an AP review of his travel records. Holmberg was released after pleading not guilty on Monday, per the Bismarck Tribune. His trial is set to start on Dec. 5. (More North Dakota stories.)

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