By Robb Murray
---- — LE CENTER — A 41-year-old St. Peter man has been charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.
William Lee Sjerven faces felony charges of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment in Le Sueur County District Court. Authorities say Sjerven denies the assault, which they say took place Friday at a home in the village of Ottawa in rural Le Sueur County.
Authorities say Sjerven had been invited to the gathering and came into contact with the 12-year-old there.
The girl told authorities Sjerven touched her hand while she sat on a sofa, then asked her to accompany him to a bedroom. The girl told authorities that Sjerven said to her, "I am going to do weird things to you."
Sjerven touched the girl's buttocks over her pants, the girl told authorities, and then picked her up and carried her outside to the backyard where he pulled down her pants and attempted to engage in intercourse.
Before that could happen, however, an adult came outside and observed the pair lying. The girl then ran to her father, who was inside the house. Her father retrieved a shotgun and pointed it at Sjerven. An altercation ensued and the and the shotgun was fired inside the residence. It was unclear in court documents whether the gun was fired at Sjerven.
When questioned by police, Sjerven denied assaulting the girl, and said it was the girl who had been pursuing him. He admitted being intoxicated.