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Thorstad sentenced for having sex with 12-year-old

MORRIS - A 28-year-old Morris man was sentenced Friday after pleading guilty to having sexual contact with a person under the age of 13.

Gerald Lee Thorstad Jr. was sentenced to 144 months in prison, a $50 fine and $82 in surcharges.

Thorstad's sentence was the upper end of a plea agreement he made with the prosecution. As part of the plea agreement, other charges against Thorstad were dismissed.

Thorstad must serve at least two-thirds of that sentence -- 96 months -- in prison. Once out of prison, Thorstad will have 10 years of conditional release and will have to register as a sex offender, Stevens County Attorney Charles Glasrud said.

At his sentencing hearing, Thorstad apologized to the victim and family for his actions, Glasrud said.

Thorstad late last year pled guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Stevens County District Court.

Three other counts against him -- one count for each contact with the victim -- were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.

According to the complaint against Thorstad, he had various sexual relations with the victim, who was 12 years old, on July 1, 2007, July 8, 2007, Aug. 1, 2007 and Aug. 23, 2007.

Thorstad faced penalties of 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine for each count of having sexual contact with a person who is under age 13 and who is at least 36 months younger.

According to the complaint, Thorstad warned the victim after the contacts not to tell anyone because he could go to prison.

The victim told a parent about the incidents and law enforcement was notified. The complaint against Thorstad was filed Aug. 28.

Thorstad stated in the complaint that he was aware the victim was 12 years old and he admitted telling the victim to not say anything because he could face prison sentences.