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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Ex-Lake Park coach, Olson, pleads not guilty to sex assault

  • A former Salvation Army youth basketball coach has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting two preteen boys.
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  • A former Salvation Army youth basketball coach has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting two preteen boys.
    Peter Jay Olson, 47, making an appearance Friday in State District Court in Duluth, entered a not guilty plea to the eight felony charges he faces and waived his right to challenge probable cause.
    Olson is charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of using a minor in a sexual performance, second-degree criminal sexual conduct, possessing pictorial representation of minors and possessing pornographic work involving minors.
    Olson was originally charged with four felonies in June for allegedly assaulting one boy, but prosecutors filed an amended complaint with four additional charges last month when a second alleged victim came forward. Olson coached both of the boys in the Lake Park Little League in Duluth, the complaint says.
    According to the Salvation Army, Olson was a coach in the Rookie Basketball Association from 1988 until he was terminated from the position in November.
    Olson is accused of twice sexually assaulting one of the boys, and taking indecent photographs of him in a separate incident. The complaint alleges that Olson admitted to touching the boy sexually and performing a sex act upon him twice.
    The amended complaint added allegations that he sexually assaulted and took nude photographs with a second victim. Olson also admitted to those crimes during an interview with investigators, the complaint alleges.
    The incidents occurred over a period of roughly 2005 to 2011, according to the complaint.
    Olson’s next court appearance, a pretrial hearing, is scheduled for Oct. 3 before Judge Heather Sweetland.
    The case is one of two ongoing criminal proceedings that involve former Salvation Army youth basketball coaches. In an unrelated case, Wendell Anthony Greene, 37, is charged with sexually assaulting two preteen girls. That case is scheduled to go to a jury trial next week.
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