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Park Rapids man gets 180 days for sex crimes

Thomas Dean Mitchell

A Park Rapids man was sentenced Wednesday to 180 days in jail as a predatory sex offender. Numerous family members stood outside the courtroom and wept.

Thomas Dean Mitchell, 40, was found guilty in May by a Hubbard County District of three felony counts of criminal sexual conduct involving a teenage girl and a fourth count, a gross misdemeanor, involving a woman.

Mitchell was charged in 2009 after a woman brought a complaint forward that he had touched her inappropriately and without her consent.

In the course of the investigation, the counts involving the minor girl also were being investigated.

He testified that he had crossed boundaries and caused pain to both victims and their families.

In court Wednesday a clinical psychologist testified that Mitchell was at a low risk of re-offending, and offered to counsel him.

Judge Paul Rasmussen rejected her offer and ordered Mitchell into group counseling for sex offenders.Rasmussen ordered him to report immediately to jail. Assistant Hubbard County Attorney Erika Randall questioned whether Mitchell was still in denial about the crimes, suggesting he might not be as amenable to treatment as the psychologist testified.

For more on the story see Saturday's edition of the Park Rapids Enterprise.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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