A Newell town commissioner is facing charges of stalking and sexual contact without consent involving a home aid.
Allen Youngberg, 67, appeared in magistrate court in Belle Fourche on Dec. 15 and pleaded not guilty to both charges. Each is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and/or a $2,000 fine.
The accusations against Youngberg relate to a June 19 incident at a Newell apartment, according to court documents. The complainant, 37-year-old Nora Mae Simmons, told the Butte County Sheriff’s Office that Youngberg harassed her and touched her inappropriately while she was cleaning the home of a 94-year-old man. Youngberg apparently lived in the same building and knew Simmons’ client.
To prevent a conflict of interest in the investigation, the sheriff’s office asked for assistance from the state Division of Criminal Investigation, states a police report filed in court.
Simmons had written up an account of Youngberg’s actions and dropped off a copy at the Newell mayor’s office, but authorities said the documents went missing. “Newell City Employee Jennifer Parrow believes Allen stole paperwork Simmons had dropped off for the Mayor on June 22,” reads the police report.
Youngberg was charged by a grand jury on Nov. 14 and arrested three days later. His bond was set at $350, and he was ordered not to have any contact with Simmons, according to court records.
Newell Mayor Mike Keolker is concerned about the criminal charges.
“While Mr. Youngberg has not been tried and he is still presumed innocent, I am concerned by the seriousness of the charges,” Keolker said. “This type of behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances and even worse for someone elected by the people.”
Newell’s official website identifies Youngberg as the town’s public safety commissioner, whose term runs till 2020.
Youngberg declined to comment for this story. He is scheduled to return to the Butte County Courthouse for a status hearing on Jan. 19. Magistrate Judge Chad Callahan, of the 4th Circuit Court, is presiding over the case.
The Newell Council has no recourse planned until it learns of the status hearing’s results.
In September, a judge in Pennington County granted Simmons’ request for a protection order against Youngberg. The court found that a stalking offense had occurred, and issued a five-year protection order — the longest that can be given.
It forbids Youngberg from committing “acts of abuse and physical harm, making threats of abuse, stalking or harassment,” including coming within 100 yards of Simmons, according to the protection order.
Youngberg earlier asked Magistrate Judge Todd Hyronimus to have the case moved to Butte County, where he lives, but the request was denied.
Since 2010, three other people have filed for permanent protection orders against Youngberg in Butte County. All the cases were dismissed, according to court records, because of the petitioners’ failure to provide sufficient evidence.