A Minot man accused of human trafficking says he's not guilty of that charge, but he did change his plea to guilty in three other charges against him in an odd court appearance.
54-year-old Galen Rufus was in Northwest District Court today, changing his pleas to guilty on a Class-B Felony charge of Intent to Deliver Marijuana, and a Class-C Felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.
But he maintains his innocence on the major charge - a Class-Double-A Felony human trafficking charge.
The local Internet Crimes Against Children task force says Rufus responded to an Internet ad a deputy had placed, offering a young girl for money.
The investigators say Rufus offered marijuana in exchange for time with a 14-year-old girl.
However, the court appearance took an unusual twist when Judge Gary Lee said Rufus would be taken into custody -his guilty pleas negating the bond he had paid to remain free.
After a consultation between Rufus and his attorney Tom Slorby, Slorby asked the judge to allow Rufus to withdraw his guilty pleas and retain his freedom on bail.
But Judge Lee said Slorby would have to file a formal motion and give the state a chance to respond before he could rule on allowing the guilty pleas to be withdrawn.
In the end, Rufus was taken into custody to be held at the Ward County Jail.
A trial on the trafficking charge is scheduled for May.