Appearing in the Burleigh County, N.D., Courthouse on Aug. 5, former Cortez Journal Sports Editor Bobby Abplanalp pleaded not guilty to a charge of attempted human trafficking.
According to court documents, Abplanalp contacted a woman believed to be trafficking her underage daughters for money. Abplanalp agreed to pay $200 to spend 45 minutes with a 17-year-old girl. Abplanalp then allegedly arrived at a designated public meeting place carrying $200 and multiple condoms.
If convicted of human trafficking, Abplanalp could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $10,000 fine.
Abplanalp is currently being held on $50,000 bond at the Burleigh County Detention Center.
Abplanalp was employed as sports editor for the Cortez Journal from July 2010 until May 2013.
Abplanalp’s next court hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9.