New evidence in Stacey case – Park Rapids Enterprise

The prosecutor in a criminal sexual conduct case against Daniel J. Stacey, 59, of Akeley, filed a notice on July 14 of “evidence of additional offenses.”

Meanwhile, on June 21, Stacey’s attorney filed a motion to dismiss the case and another motion to change the venue.

Stacey is a former Hubbard County District 4 commissioner and former Nevis Public Schools bus driver.

In April, Stacey was charged with one felony second-degree count of criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 14 years old and one felony count of distributing via electronic communication material that relates and/or describes sexual conduct to a child.

The lead prosecutor is Assistant Beltrami County Attorney Ashley Ann Nelson.

According to the July 14 notice, another alleged victim was approximately 5 years old when Stacey “acted in a mentor-type capacity.” The notice states that, initially, Stacey spent time with the boy at the boy’s home, “then began taking him on outings outside of the home for a few hours at a time. Finally, Stacey started keeping the boy overnight,” approximately once a week.

The boy is an autistic child, according to the notice filed with the court.

“The overnights would often take place at hotels and Stacey would take many pictures of the boy as he was swimming,” says the court document.

When asked, the document continues, the boy said, “if anything bad or inappropriate happened between himself and Stacey, he would not say because he does not like to talk about bad stuff from the past.”

When the boy was approximately 13, the document alleges he was at Stacey’s home. “Stacey turned on pornography and asked the boy if his parents let him watch pornography.”

In June, Stacey’s attorney, Ashley McCarthy Heaney of Minneapolis, filed a motion to dismiss charges due to “lack of probable cause.”

Heaney argues, “Mr. Stacey is alleged to have had ‘sexual contact’ with the alleged victim,” but Minnesota Statute defines sexual contact as “the intentional touching of the complainant’s ‘intimate parts.’” Since the complaint alleges Stacey touched the waistband of the alleged victim’s underwear, Heaney writes that that is not “an ‘intimate part’ as defined in the statute.”

In the motion to change the venue, Heaney argues that Stacey “held a very prominent position in the very small community and potentially prejudicial material has been disseminated publicly creating a reasonable likelihood that a fair trial in Hubbard County cannot be had.”

Heaney writes, “There have been mass texts to employees and parents in Nevis Public School regarding Mr. Stacey’s arrest and court appearance. Several articles have been written in the past six months in several different newspapers and media outlets.”

Heaney notes that three Hubbard County judges – Erick Schieferdecker, Matthew Mallie and Robert Tiffany – have recused themselves, resulting in delayed court proceedings.

Ninth District Court Judge Patricia Aanes of Crow Wing County is currently assigned to the case.

A contested omnibus hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, July 28.

Shannon Geisen is editor of the Park Rapids Enterprise.


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