Rosemount student pleads not guilty to criminal sexual assault of ninth-grader on bus

A 18-year-old student faces criminal charges for allegedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old ninth-grade student on the school bus.

Gross misdemeanor charges for criminal sexual conduct in the third degree have been brought against Rosemount resident Eric Devon Hodo. Hodo pleaded not guilty on June 11 and was allowed conditional release.

According to the criminal complaint, Apple Valley police responded to a report of criminal sexual assault that happened on May 20, 2013. The victim, from Apple Valley, reported she was on the school bus and sat in the back row by herself when Hodo sat with her.

School bus footage shows the two sitting together with his arms around her neck and then moving her leg on top of his as he moves to between her legs. The victim is seen pushing him away several times as he continues holding her leg and touching her.

The victim told police Hodo put his hands in her leggings and made contact with her genitals. She said she repeatedly asked him to stop, and he would not, the criminal complaint said.

The victim claims to know Hodo through school. The victim alleges in prior meetings, Hodo tried to pull her into a corner at school to touch her, made sexually explicit comments and exposed himself, the complaint said.

An omnibus hearing is scheduled for Aug. 8, with a settlement conference slated Jan. 8. If it reaches a jury trial, this will begin in early February.

A maximum sentence for this charge is one year and $3,000.