Former Republican state senator Ray Holmberg from North Dakota was arrested and indicted on federal charges of traveling to Prague with the intent to rape a minor and receiving images depicting child sexual abuse, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of North Dakota.
Holmberg, who served in the state Senate for 44 years and was the chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee, resigned from his position last year after it was revealed that he exchanged text messages with a person who was jailed on related charges.
The indictment alleges that Holmberg traveled to Prague in September 2022 with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and that he received images depicting the sexual abuse of children between August 2022 and October 2022.
“The indictment alleges that Mr. Holmberg traveled to Prague with the intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and that he received images depicting the sexual abuse of children,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nick Chase. “These are heinous crimes that victimize the most vulnerable members of our society. We will prosecute anyone who engages in such conduct to the fullest extent of the law.”
The arrest and indictment of Holmberg have shocked and saddened his former colleagues and political allies in North Dakota.
“We are shocked and saddened by these allegations. Ray Holmberg served our state with distinction for over four decades and was a respected leader in the Senate. We hope that justice will be served and that he will be held accountable for his actions,” said North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner.
“I am deeply disturbed by the charges against former Senator Holmberg. These are serious and appalling crimes that have no place in our society. I urge anyone who has information or evidence related to this case to contact the authorities immediately,” said North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
– Ex-North Dakota Lawmaker Accused Of Flying To Prague To Rape Minor, HuffPost, Oct 30, 2023
– Ex-Sen. Ray Holmberg, from North Dakota, charged with flying to Prague with intent to rape a minor, ABC News, Oct 31, 2023
– Arrested: Ex-North Dakota State Sen. Ray Holmberg Flew to Prague With Intent to Rape Minor, Federal Indictment Alleges, MSN, Oct 30, 2023
– Holmberg indicted on federal charge (updated), KNOX Radio, Oct 30, 2023