United States Attorney Ron Parsons announced that a Spearfish, South Dakota, man was charged in federal district court with Attempted Sexual Exploitation of a Minor.
Bernard Andrew Wagner, Jr., age 57, was charged on September 23, 2020. Wagner appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Daneta Wollmann on September 25, 2020, and pleaded not guilty to the charge. The maximum penalty upon conviction is a mandatory minimum of 15 up to 30 years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine, lifetime supervised release, and a $100 assessment to the Federal Crime Victims Fund. Restitution may also be ordered.
The charge relates to Wagner attempting to sexually exploit an undercover law enforcement agent posing as a minor. The charge is merely an accusation and Wagner is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
The investigation is being conducted by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Department of Homeland Security, Spearfish Police Department, Rapid City Police Department, and the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah B. Collins is prosecuting the case.
Wagner was detained pending trial. A trial date has not been set.