Man charged with criminal sexual conduct after meeting minor at church youth group

A 21-year-old man is facing charges after allegedly having sexual relations with a minor he met through a church youth group in Cambridge.

Richard Joseph Flannery, of Isanti, was charged before Judge Robert Rancourt March 6 in Isanti County District Court with felony 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim between the ages of 13-15.

Judge Rancourt set Flannery’s bail at $30,000 without conditions or $15,000 with conditions. His next court appearance is March 20.

According to the criminal complaint:

Isanti Police Chief Ron Sager met with a minor female March 4 who reported she was the victim of criminal sexual conduct.

She explained she met Flannery at a church function through the church youth group, “Fusion,” based through Word of Life Church in Cambridge.

She said she and Flannery talked off and on until June 2012 when they met at the soccer fields in Isanti, and then headed to the Isanti Rodeo Grounds where they kissed.

On Jan. 25, Flannery and the victim sent text messages back and forth and a sexual encounter was arranged. Flannery came to her home and they engaged in sexual relations. The victim said she didn’t see Flannery again after that encounter.

On March 14, Sager met with Flannery and took a taped statement. When Flannery was informed of why he was being questioned, he wanted to guess who the victim was, and gave a different name other than the victim.

When Flannery was told who the victim was that reported the incident, he admitted he had a relationship with her without her parent’s knowledge.

He admitted he met her through Fusion, and she agreed to a physical relationship. He stated he has on his email a full record of her inviting him over to her home for sexual relations. He stated after the encounter, she emailed him saying she had a great time and they should meet up again.

Flannery admitted he had to sneak in through the back window of her home for their sexual encounter.

According to its website, “Fusion is a high school/college age group focusing on what it means to have and live out a real relationship with Christ. We’re not just sayers of the word, but we are doers—going out into the community and practicing what we preach.”