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Clara City man gets stayed prison, jail, probation for sex crime

MONTEVIDEO -- Cheyenne Clay Johnson, 43, of Clara City, was sentenced Tuesday to 36 months in prison, which was stayed, 189 days in the county jail, a $500 fine and 10 years of probation on a third-degree criminal sexual conduct for sexually assaulting a girl in August.

Johnson was given credit for time already served in jail and released, according to Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson. He must also register as a predatory offender, have no contact with the girl, her residence or her school or with juvenile females and possess no pornography. He is also ordered to submit to a chemical use assessment and abstain from using drugs or alcohol.

Johnson was charged with assaulting a juvenile female Aug. 24 at a residence in Clara City. He later used a cell phone to report his own crime, triggering a search by law enforcement officers in the Clara City area.

Clara City police were joined by Chippewa County sheriff's deputies, and officers with the State Patrol and the Upper Sioux Community canine unit in a search for Johnson.

The search focused first on cornfields north of Clara City, but subsequent calls by the defendant led officers to find him about two hours later in a ditch along Highway 23 south of Clara City.

Two officers confronted Johnson and ordered him to drop a serrated knife he carried. They repeated the order several times before he dropped the knife, according to the complaint. Johnson was then taken into custody without incident.

His initial phone call to authorities had led a Clara City police officer to the juvenile female, and she was transported to a hospital for medical treatment.

-- Gretchen Schlosser