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Afton man accused of molesting granddaughters

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An Afton man was charged Monday with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident involving two of his juvenile granddaughters.

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Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrested Richard Allen Balsimo, 62, at his Afton residence on Thursday, Dec. 11.

He was taken into custody without incident and was held over the weekend at the Washington County Jail in Stillwater pending the charges.

Each of the charges, which were filed by the Washington County Attorney Monday morning, carries a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

The Washington County Attorney filed three additional charges against Balsimo related to the alleged molestation incident that occurred at his home on the weekend of Nov. 29. All five charges are felonies.

Balsimo posted bail Monday and was scheduled to be released Monday afternoon, but he was ordered by a judge to have no contact with the alleged victims, ages 11 and 13, and to have no unsupervised contact with any females under the age of 18 in his home.

Several alleged acts

According to the criminal complaint, the girls are cousins and were staying at Balsimo's house for the weekend, where they were subject to several alleged acts of molestation.

One of the girls told her parents about the alleged molestation upon returning from her stay at the residence. The parents then contacted Dakota County Social Services who assigned a counselor to interview the girls in front of a Washington County Sheriff's detective.

According to the criminal complaint, the girls told the investigators that the alleged molestation began when Balsimo took photos of the girls while the they were taking a bath together in his home.

The criminal complaint further states that the alleged victims said Balsimo told them he was going to take a picture of the girls while they were naked in the bathtub. They said they thought he was kidding.

One of the victims said their grandfather stood on the edge of the bathtub and took the photo while looking over the closed shower curtain.

Later during their stay, their grandfather allegedly touched each of their breasts and vaginal areas over their clothes and wrestled with them and "showed them sexual positions while he was on top of them," the complaint stated.

Balsimo also showed the girls a book called "A Man's Guide to Sex" and discussed sexual positions with them, the complaint stated. The girls told investigators that he had showed them the book in a separate incident "last year."

The girls told the investigators that after their shower, their grandfather tried to pull the towels off them, and later played "truth or dare" with them in his bedroom and then exposed himself to them. He kissed the 11-year old on the lips, the criminal complaint stated.

The girls told investigators Balsimo stopped the acts when he knew his adult daughter, who lived with him, "was due to come home."

Balsimo was interviewed by investigators and admitted to taking a photo of the girls while they were in the shower, but did not admit to touching them or exposing them to his genitals. He said he was on an exercise ball when one of the girls said they "could see his private parts."

He admitted to playing "truth or dare" with the girls, but said that he dared them to go upstairs and clean the bathroom. He told investigators he dared the girls to kiss each other on the cheek and then go upstairs, take their clothes off and get to bed."

Balsimo told investigators he said that to the girls "to 'trump them," meaning to get himself to "strike out" or end the game."

Balsimo's next court date is scheduled for Jan. 14.

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