Grand Forks man to plead guilty to sexually assaulting girl
A Grand Forks man who intends to plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old more than two years ago faces 12 years in prison. David Allen Willings, 52, signed a plea agreement Friday that was filed in Grand Forks District Court. He faced l...
A Grand Forks man who intends to plead guilty to sexually assaulting a 12-year-old more than two years ago faces 12 years in prison.
David Allen Willings, 52, signed a plea agreement Friday that was filed in Grand Forks District Court. He faced life in prison for gross sexual imposition, a Class AA felony charge, after the victim reported multiple instances of sexual assault by Willings.
He was scheduled to go to trial Sept. 26, but the plea deal canceled that hearing. The charge will be downgraded to a Class A felony, and he will be sentenced to 20 years in prison with eight years suspended if a judge accepts the plea deal as written.
Willings was arrested in late January 2016 after police confronted him about allegations he sexually assaulted the then-12-year-old victim once at his Grand Forks home and multiple times in Otter Tail County in west-central Minnesota.
The girl also said Willings texted her "nasty, sexual things," according to charging documents. Police obtained a record of text messages from the victim's phone, with almost 60 messages linked to Willings, according to charging documents in Otter Tail County.
That resulted in a Class B felony charge of luring minors by computer in Grand Forks, but the plea deal would dismiss that charge.
Willings initially denied abusing the girl, whom he knew, but admitted to texting her, according to court documents.
Willings must register as a sex offender if the plea deal is accepted. An presentencing investigation will determine what level he'll be designated.
An hour-long sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 8.
Willings also faces two counts of criminal sexual conduct-one first-degree and one second-degree charge-in Otter Tail County. That case was filed almost a month after the Grand Forks charges. He's scheduled to go to trial later this month.
The most severe charge is punishable by up to 30 years in prison while the other charge carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison.