Biber's teen sex charge leaves colleagues "confused and disturbed"
High-profile Minneapolis business attorney Aaron Biber is due to be arraigned in Hennepin County court today on charges that he had sex with a 14-year-old boy in October at his Shorewood home, and that he was seeking another sexual encounter with the teen.
According to the criminal complaint, Biber has known the boy for four years. It says that he gave the boy alcohol, sent him graphic texts and pictures of his own genitals, and engaged in unprotected anal and oral sex with him. After suffering injuries from one encounter, the boy contacted an unnamed person, who contacted South Lake Minnetonka Police. The complaint says police began monitoring Biber's communications with the boy, and arrested him at the Eden Prairie Mall, where he had arranged to meet with the boy. He spent Monday night at the Hennepin County jail. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said he'll be seeking $1 million bail at arraignment.
"During the taped phone call, the defendant graphically described how much he enjoyed anally penetrating Child A and how much he enjoyed having Child A's penis penetrating his anus," the complaint says. "He described a two-hour session of anal and oral sex without benefit of lubrication or condoms. Referring to the October 2009 abuse, the Defendant stated that he was aware Child A was "inebriated" and that Child A "was doing everything [he] could to stay awake and hard."
Biber specialized in business law with the Minneapolis firm of Gray, Plant, Mooty, and he was treasurer of the Minnesota Bar Association. Colleagues at both organizations expressed dismay at the turn of events.
"We are deeply saddened by this completely unexpected news, and are ensuring that the clients Mr. Biber has served are being well taken care of by other lawyers at our firm," the firm's managing officer and chair of the board, Tamata Hjelle Olsen, said in a statement on Monday. The company's employees "are confused and disturbed by this news. We trust that the justice system will bring this matter to the right result. Mr. Biber has been placed on leave and is not currently practicing law with our firm."
The Minnesota State Bar Association said Biber is being suspended from his position as treasurer. The group's president, Leo Brisbois, called the charges in the criminal complaint "deeply troubling."
Prior to his current position with Gray, Plant, Mooty, he was chief operating officer with the Minneapolis law firm Mansfield, Tanick and Cohen, according to a copy of his resume posted on the Minnesota Bar Association's Web site. He also practiced law with Mansfield, Tanick and Cohen, and with Head, Seifert and Vander Weide.
Besides his membership with the state bar association, he's a member of the Hennepin County Bar Association, where he served as president from 2000-2001. From 2006-2008, he was a Minnesota delegate to the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. Minnesota Law and Politics named him a "rising star" in 2000, and then as a "super lawyer" in a number of years since then. He's also listed in the Who's Who in American Law. He earned his law degree from the University of Iowa in 1987.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.