A Northfield man is facing 11 charges in a case involving a 14 year old boy. According to the criminal complaint, 27 year old Alexander Christian Gaya, met the boy through an app called Grindr. Neither disclosed their real age until the 2nd time they met. The victim’s mother discovered text messages and posed as her son. In the messages he said it didn’t bother him that the victim was 14. Rice County Deputies were called in after the victim’s mother went to Rice County Social Services in late August to say she believed her son had been sexually assaulted.
Investigators met with the parents and, later, with Gaya, who told them that he thinks the age of consent laws are not justifiable. He also informed them that he is a substitute teacher at a Northfield school. Gaya is in Rice County jail charged with 7 counts of 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct, 1 count of distribution of explicit material to a minor, 1 count of solicitation of a minor and 2 counts of 5th degree lewd exhibition. Nine of the charges are felonies, 7 carry a maximum 15 years in prison. His initial court appearance is September 20th.
Charter amendment fails – policy changes pondered
The first reading of a Charter Amendment was voted down by Northfield City Council last week. In July, Charter Chair Lance Heisler presented the amendment which would add a sentence to Sec. 3.8 that would require the Mayor to report on the Operations of the City to the Council, which is then public. While the provision provides for oversight, there was no specific requirement for reporting it. The sentence would add that the Mayor report to the council once during their term by the last day of the 3rd year. With the failure of the Charter amendment, Martig has proposed other avenues that would not require changing the Charter, which he calls a strategic plan of a higher level. Rather, he says, they could get to the point with policy changes. They already have an independent financial auditor, Administrator Ben Martig’s interview would include a review by his subordinates, department reviews, operating efficiencies, an employee wide satisfaction survey (that included if they feel valued at work). The Council gave no formal action. Martig added that there seemed to be interest in collaborating with the Charter Commission.
Another DJJD in the books
Another successful Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration is in the books, or will be as receipts are counted. With perfect weather, the weekend was wrapped up with the longest parade yet. Over 160 entries in the parade led off by Police Chief Monte Nelson and his grandson, Quillen, who turned 7, followed by Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn and a whole lot of royalty from all over the State. DJJD General Chair, Deb Anthony, Heywood Award winner Greg Langer and the DJJD Ambassadors all got their wave on. The re-enactments all went off without a hitch and the crowd was wowed. The largest all volunteer crew, once again, managed to turn the town upside down for 4 days and put it all back together within hours as streets are cleaned, tents are down and Bridge Square is back open. Police Chief Monte Nelson reports that there were 10 medicals, one may have been a potential heart attack but mostly it’s scrapes, bee stings. They had 3 reports of disorderly conduct/fighting with one cited, there were 2 DWI arrests and one person was arrested, jailed and later released for passing a $100 counterfeit bill. They had plenty of lost property reported, including lost cars. Five items were turned in to their Lost & Found.