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Marshall man gets five years probation for pornography conviction

WILLMAR -- A 23-year-old Marshall man was sentenced Friday to five years of probation and a $1,000 fine and ordered to register as a predatory offender on a felony charge of possession of pornography for having sexual videos and images of children on his laptop computer.

As part of his sentence handed down in Kandiyohi County District Court, Thomas Daniel Burt was also ordered to submit to a psychological-sexual evaluation and not possess pornographic or sexually explicit material.

He was also ordered to serve 83 days in jail, with credit for 83 days already served.

Burt received a stay of imposition on his sentence. Under a stay of imposition, the felony conviction may be reduced to a misdemeanor on his record if all sentencing conditions are met.

The charge was filed after Feb. 18, 2008, when two people turned over to Willmar police what they believed to be a stolen laptop that contained child pornography. They had received the laptop from a woman -- who had a relationship with Burt -- who said Burt had left the computer at her home and that he had shown her child porn videos on the computer.

Burt called the officer about the computer, and the allegations against him, a few days later.

He stated he had leased the computer from Ridgewater College while taking classes and should have returned it, but didn't have the money to pay the late fees. He said he used it for a music service he ran at a bar and claimed that many people used the computer.

A Willmar police officer completed a forensic examination of the hard drive. The exam revealed nine videos depicting explicit sex acts involving children that appeared to be younger than 10 years old and three images of child pornography.

Also found on the computer were six videos and one image that might contain juveniles engaged in sex acts and 43 images of pornography that were not believed to have juvenile participants.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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