By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer
MANKATO — A 22-year-old Lake Crystal man who is scheduled to go to trial this month for allegedly raping a 12-year-old girl at his apartment is now facing new charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl in Mankato.
Court records say William Marcus Daniel Edwards developed relationships with both girls through Facebook.
A counselor at a Mankato school called police Nov. 19 to report a student had been sexually assaulted. A few days before the report, Edwards had been charged with luring a 12-year-old girl to his apartment in Lake Crystal, choking her until she passed out and raping her more than once.
The girl told a police officer she had received a “friend request” from Edwards through Facebook and they communicated for awhile before exchanging telephone numbers. She said it was the middle of October when Edwards invited her to friend’s apartment near downtown Mankato.
After Edwards and the girl met, they went to a playground near the apartment complex, the girl reported. She said she had a bottle of pop or water that Edwards took and kept for awhile. When she took the bottle back and started drinking from it, she became dizzy.
She said Edwards began kissing her at that point and she didn’t know what to do because her body was numb, according to a criminal complaint filed this week. The girl reported Edwards eventually had sex with her while there were no other people in the park. After the assault, Edwards walked the girl back to the apartments and ran away, the complaint said.
Edwards was eventually interviewed by a detective. He admitted to knowing the girl and having sex with her but denied drugging her. Children under the age of 16 can not give legal consent for sex in the state of Minnesota.
Edwards has demanded a speedy trial for the Lake Crystal incident, which allegedly took place Nov. 13. He is facing five felony counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
In that case Edwards told investigators he thought the victim was 16 years old. He said he used his cellphone to communicate with the 12-year-old victim through Facebook and told investigators they could search his Facebook messages to see she had told him she was 16.
Police requested a search warrant for Edwards’ Facebook information, which is under the name William Paleface Edwards on the social network, according to a affidavit requesting the search warrant that was filed in Blue Earth. The Facebook page says Edwards has 838 friends with many of those friends saying they are high school students.
Edwards is facing two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and three counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, all felonies, for the Mankato incident. His first court appearance is scheduled for the first day of his trial for the Lake Crystal case.