Beltrami County Attorney’s Office drops sexual assault charges against Texas man

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Beltrami County Attorney David Hanson issued additional details and case updates on Tuesday following a hearing for Oscar Luna and his connection to the sexual assault of a minor that took place in Sept. 2023.
Annalise Braught | Bemidji Pioneer

Updated: 10:55 a.m.

On Tuesday, the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office announced it is dropping charges against a Texas man accused of sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl in Bemidji.

The case garnered national attention. In a release, Beltrami County Attorney David L. Hanson cited “a lack of evidence necessary to prove the case” for the decision to drop charges. 

In late September, Bemidji police arrested 22-year-old Oscar Luna on an outstanding warrant after authorities searched a home where the victim said she was taken after being abducted. Tests indicated the girl had been sexually assaulted, and Luna was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. 

During the search, 11 people, referred to as “foreign nationals” in the release, were also apprehended and put in the custody of federal authorities. Initially Luna was charged based on “sufficient probable cause.” 

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Now, according to Hanson, no DNA evidence gathered during the investigation links Luna or any of the 11 other men to the assault. However, testing found DNA from three other unidentified individuals on the waistband of the victim’s undergarment.

“At this point there is no evidence, admissible in a court of law, to implicate Luna for the sexual assault of the young girl. Therefore, based upon the lack of evidence necessary to prove this case the Beltrami County Attorney’s office will be dismissing the charges against Luna,” Hanson said in the release.

“Furthermore, because of the DNA evidence excluding the other men found at the scene, there are currently no suspects to file charges against at this time.”

Luna is expected to plead guilty to felony third-degree possession of a controlled substance for drugs found during the investigation. Luna has admitted the drugs belonged to him. After Luna has been prosecuted for the drug charge in Beltrami County he will be released to Hennepin County for two outstanding warrants.

In the release Hanson thanked the nurses and law enforcement personnel involved in the case.

“This case involves a little girl who experienced an unthinkable trauma, and for the prosecution to conclude with an outcome of no charges is itself another trauma — both for the victim and for all of the individuals who have put their heart and souls into this case.” 

The case remains under investigation.