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Edgerton man sentenced in child sex sting case

WORTHINGTON -- An Edgerton man caught up in an undercover child sex sting plans to take his case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Darren H. DeGroot, 37, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment Monday in Nobles County District Court after being ...

WORTHINGTON - An Edgerton man caught up in an undercover child sex sting plans to take his case to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Darren H. DeGroot, 37, was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment Monday in Nobles County District Court after being previously found guilty by a jury of a string of felony-level charges filed in February 2017. The charges were a result of engaging in electronic communication that was sexual in nature with whom he believed to be a 14-year-old boy.

DeGroot was arrested in Worthington when he arrived at a prearranged location with supposed plans of engaging in a sexual act with the 14-year-old, the identity played by an agent with the Minnesota Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Counsel spent considerable time discussing the matter in chamber prior to going on the record Monday afternoon. The basis for such lengthy discussion may have been due to the uniqueness of the case as well as what could be potentially mitigating factors discussed on the record.  

Despite the addressing of DeGroot’s personal circumstances, Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore imposed a prison sentence on the basis of what he considered clear intentions demonstrated by DeGroot.

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“I do believe you knew what you were doing,” Moore said of the communication DeGroot made via a social media dating application. “You clearly and graphically expressed through text messages and photographs and the items recovered (at the prearranged location) what your intentions were.”

Moore adjudicated DeGroot guilty on three of the five charges.

Due to plans of appealing the ruling and convictions, DeGroot will not be required to report to serve his prison sentence for 90 days while the appeal process is handled.

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