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Former Dickinson sports editor faces federal sex charge

BISMARCK -- A former sports editor for The Dickinson Press is scheduled for a Feb. 4 trial in Bismarck on a federal charge of attempting to solicit a minor for sex.

BISMARCK -- A former sports editor for The Dickinson Press is scheduled for a Feb. 4 trial in Bismarck on a federal charge of attempting to solicit a minor for sex.

Originally charged with felony human trafficking in Burleigh County, Bobby A. Abplanalp faces the new charge in U.S. District Court in Bismarck for attempted coercion and enticement of a minor, according to a federal indictment document dated Sept. 18 and obtained Tuesday.

A Class A felony charge filed in June in Burleigh County was dismissed after the federal indictment, said county Assistant State's Attorney Pamela Nesvig.

The federal filing says that between June 6 and 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 a 17-year-old girl. He spent several months at the Burleigh County Detention Center before being released Sept. 26, according to a jail employee.

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

The Dickinson Press is owned by Forum Communications Co., which also owns Forum News Service.

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