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Former Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges

October 20, 2014, 10:02 PM by Don Jorgensen

Former Pastor Pleads Not Guilty To Sex Charges
CANTON, SD -

A former pastor from Canton has pleaded not guilty to sex charges.

45-year-old Tony Haglund made his first court appearance in Lincoln County on Monday on a five-count indictment that could put him in prison for 50 years.

Haglund had nothing to say as he was escorted out of the Lincoln County Courthouse and into a law enforcement van.

Haglund was being held on $500,000 bond, but on Monday, the judge reduced bail to $50,000 cash surety.

In court, Lincoln County State's Attorney Tom Wollman asked the judge to keep bail for Haglund at a half million dollars because he says he poses a danger to the community.

"In cases like this case, we always believe there's a component of that where an individual who has preyed on younger individuals like that poses a risk to the community," Wollman said.

Haglund is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, who was a member of his congregation at the Lutheran Church between 2011 and 2013. 

In court, Wollman said investigators recorded a phone conversation between Haglund and the 15-year-old girl where Haglund told her it would be bad for everyone, including her, if she disclosed their relationship.

Because this case has gotten so much publicity, Haglund's lawyer told the judge he might consider a change of venue.

Even though Haglund's bond has been reduced to $50,000, it comes with several stipulations.

"Obviously he's not to have any contact with the victim or the victim's family, no contact with children under 16 and not to travel outside of the state of South Dakota," Wollman said.

Haglund's attorney has until December 1 if he wants to ask to have the trial moved out of Lincoln County.

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