Basketball coach convicted of sexually abusing boys sentenced to 12 years in prison

A former teacher and youth basketball coach from Brooklyn Center convicted of sexually abusing minors received a 12-year prison sentence on Wednesday.

A jury found Aaron Hjermstad, 42, guilty on four separate charges in November: first-degree criminal sexual conduct, fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Those convictions carried sentences of 144 months, 365 days, 91 months and 36 months, respectively, and Hjermstad will serve them all concurrently.

Hjermstad also has to register as a convicted sex offender and will be on conditional release for 10 years after he serves his prison time, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

Hjermstad was a teacher at Mastery School in north Minneapolis and basketball coach at nearby Hospitality House. A criminal complaint details an investigation in March of 2020 after law enforcement was notified that a 12-year-old boy had been propositioned by his coach to perform sexual acts for money.

Court documents show there was follow-up investigation by the Brooklyn Center Police Department. In an interview with a child advocate, the 12-year-old indicated there had been multiple incidents with Hjermstad. The boy said he would stay at the coach’s house the night before a basketball game when the sexual acts happened.

Three additional criminal complaints accuse Hjermstad of similar inappropriate acts while boys were staying at his home. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reported Hjermstad was previously investigated, however charges were never filed.