Man charged with sexual abuse of Rosemount girl, 7


A man who allegedly molested a 7-year-old girl at the home of a Rosemount family where he was staying has been charged with criminal sexual conduct in district court.

Ernest Henry Chouinard, 36, faces a penalty of up to 25 years in prison and $35,000 in fines if convicted of the felony-level charge.

The criminal complaint gives the following account:

A woman contacted Rosemount police Sept. 28 to report that Chouinard, a friend who she had allowed to stay at her residence the last few days, had sexually abused her 7-year-old daughter the previous night.

Police spoke with the girl, who stated that Chouinard came into her bedroom between 1 and 5 a.m., got into her bed, kissed her and placed his hand in her “private” area, according to the complaint.

The girl’s aunt, who was also staying at the home, went to her niece’s room in the night after hearing Chouinard talking to the girl in “baby talk,” and hearing the girl say “get out” a couple of times. In the bedroom, the aunt observed Chouinard in the girl’s bed.

Chouinard was arrested Sept. 29 by Rosemount police and booked into the Dakota County Jail, where he remained as of Monday afternoon. His next court appearance is scheduled for Oct. 23 in Dakota County District Court in Hastings.