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DOC crew leader pleads guilty to coercing sex

GRANITE FALLS — A crew leader for the Sentencing to Service program pleaded guilty Monday in two cases that accused him of coercing a female prisoner to have sex with him in exchange for favors.

Michael John Martin, 48, of Wood Lake, pleaded guilty to two felony charges of criminal sexual conduct.

Three other felonies were dismissed.

According to the complaint filed against him, Martin worked for the state Department of Corrections and supervised Yellow Medicine County prisoners while they were doing community service work.

In June he was charged with criminal sexual conduct for having sex with a female inmate in Yellow Medicine County. In August, criminal sexual conduct charges were added in Chippewa County after it was discovered some of the alleged incidents with the female inmate occurred in that county.

According to the criminal complaint, the woman had been an inmate at the Yellow Medicine County Jail and periodically worked under Martin's supervision on the Sentencing to Service crew between August 2016 and May 2017.

When she then entered treatment at Project Turnabout in Granite Falls, she told a counselor about Martin asking her to have sex with him. The woman said she would occasionally receive special privileges while she was incarcerated, including cigarettes, pop or visits with her children.

In the Yellow Medicine County case, Martin pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct — correctional employee.

Two other felony charges of third-degree criminal sexual conduct were dismissed.

In Chippewa County, Martin pleaded guilty to a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree — correctional employee.

A charge of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree was dismissed.

Sentencing is scheduled for May 3.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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