A Bismarck man has been charged with gross sexual imposition for allegedly sexually assaulting a young girl and giving her a venereal disease, a police affidavit says.

Paxton Heywood, 21, made his initial appearance Thursday in South Central District Court, where Judge Cynthia Feland set his bail at $100,000 cash.

An adult family member met with police in February after the girl’s diagnosis. The charges against Heywood stem from an investigation that included a forensic interview, according to the affidavit. If convicted, he could be sentenced to life in prison.

Court documents show several cases pending against Heywood, including an open felony drug case in McLean County, a 2016 aggravated assault charge in Burleigh County, misdemeanor drug charges in Burleigh County and a misdemeanor assault charge in McLean County.

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Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com