UPDATE: Itasca County attorney charged with sexual assault turns himself in, makes first court appearance

Jesse Powell KBJR
Jesse Powell KBJR(Itasca Co.)
Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 1:41 PM CST
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GRAND RAPIDS, MN -- An Itasca County attorney charged with several counts of criminal sexual conduct turned himself in Tuesday night after a warrant was issued for his arrest Monday.

A judge issued the warrant after Jesse Powell, 32, missed his original court date Monday.

Powell is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he was representing through her divorce.

According to court documents, the assault, which allegedly happened between February and August 2021, ranged from non-consensual kissing and touching to rape.

Powell, who was booked overnight after turning himself in, made his first court appearance via video conference from the Itasca County Jail Wednesday morning.

A Beltrami County judge set unconditional bail at $50,000 and conditional bail under the promises that he has no contact with his accuser, remains sober and shows up to all future court hearings.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, he was still listed on the Itasca County Jail’s roster.

Powell also explained why he missed his initial court appearance Monday.

He told the judge he received notice of the hearing on the same day he was hospitalized for an extended period of time. He also said he had the wrong date stuck in his mind.

He then apologized for missing the court hearing.

His next court date is set for January 24.

Victim advocates say other victims have now come forward sharing more accusations against Powell.

GRAND RAPIDS, MN -- A warrant has been issued for an attorney in Itasca County who was charged with sexual assault after he failed to show up for his court hearing Monday.

According to online court records, Jesse Powell, 32, was supposed to appear in court at 1 p.m. Monday.

A judge issued a warrant for his arrest shortly after he did not appear.

In December, Powell was charged with one count of third-degree and four counts of fifth-degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

He’s accused of sexually assaulting a victim between February and August 2021 while he was representing her in her divorce.

According to court documents, the complaints range from non-consensual kissing and touching to one incident where the victim says Powell raped her at his office.

She changed lawyers in August.

Powell faces 15 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge against him.

Court documents show Powell has a history of misconduct, dating back to at least 2018.

A harassment order was filed against him in March 2021.

Before that, he was suspended from his position as Itasca County’s Assistant County Attorney for sexually harassing co-workers.

An advocacy group is asking any other possible victims to come forward.

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