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Former Ellsworth man receives jail sentence for possessing child porn

WORTHINGTON -- A former Ellsworth man who argued everyone his age is electronically sending and receiving nude or sexually explicit media will spend one year in the Nobles County Jail.

3835751+112517.N.DG_.MITCHELL mug .jpg
Mitchell

WORTHINGTON - A former Ellsworth man who argued everyone his age is electronically sending and receiving nude or sexually explicit media will spend one year in the Nobles County Jail.

The subject of three recent criminal cases in two counties, Dallas Mitchell, 20, of Truman, was convicted Tuesday in Nobles County District Court of two felony charges of possession of pornographic work and felony engagement in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child. Three other charges between the two cases were dismissed as part of the plea agreement. The state also agreed not to press charges in another investigated incident.

In articulating his disposition, Fifth Judicial District Judge Gordon Moore told Mitchell that unfortunately, young children involved in disseminating nude material electronically don’t understand what they’re doing and that a “dark web” exists. At the time of offenses, Mitchell was ages 18-19 and the victims 15-16.

Moore told Mitchell that he appeared to be minimalizing his actions, which included threatening to disseminate sexually explicit material sent to him by young girls from Nicollet and Lismore if they did not continue to provide more. According to the criminal complaint, more than 100 sexually explicit photographs and 25 videos were recovered from Mitchell’s cellular device.

“I do understand why I got charged, but it’s just my train of thought that if I get charged, then everyone else that does it should, too,” Mitchell said during his sentencing Tuesday.

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Following that statement, Mitchell added that, in the victim’s perspective, he “understands it’s hard, emotionally distressing and not right.”

According to similar criminal complaints filed in October in Nicollet District Court and in November in Nobles County District Court, Mitchell had begged the juvenile female for nude photographs one month after they began dating. Retrieved messages indicate they had been “dating” for more than one year, despite never having met in person.

Messages revealed that at one point, Mitchell suggested the two “break up” until she turn 18. The victim eventually confided in her mother, and the victim told Mitchell her mother wanted him to go to jail. MItchell responded: “For what, I be in trouble for pictures and videos, a cop would laugh, everyone is doing it.” He then later told the victim to call him or he would “post every (expletive ) video pic u ever sent me.”

In relation to the investigation, Mitchell was convicted of soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct, a felony, in February in Nicollet District Court. He was sentenced to 76 days in jail, which was already satisfied by the time of his sentencing. He was placed on three years of supervised probation and fined $500.

The joint Nicollet and Nobles counties investigation and forensic analysis of Mitchell’s phone led to the additional criminal case, in which Mitchell convinced a juvenile in Lismore to send sexually explicit photos over Facebook Messenger.

Moore expressed sympathy for personal events Mitchell underwent at a young age that the judge categorized as “traumatizing,” but said it’s time he accept personal responsibility for his childish behavior. Disregard for the seriousness of his actions, Moore said, posed red flags pointing to reoffense possibility.

“This isn’t stupid, this isn’t a joke,” Moore said. “This isn’t you being victimized by the system or this court or these young ladies and their families. It’s probably well past time to be involved in true adult behavior - getting a job and getting up in the morning. It’s time to turn off the computer, get out of the basement and face these things head-on.”

As part of Tuesday’s disposition, Mitchell was also sentenced to 30 months, 25 months and 20 months in prison on the convictions. Execution is to be stayed while Mitchell completes his five year supervised probation. He was also ordered to pay a $500 fine on each conviction, which can be satisfied instead by completing community service hours to be determined by probation.

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He will be required to register as a predatory offender, have no contact with victims and develop apology letters, complete an adult sex offender treatment program, not access pornographic material, is prohibited from using social media and have no contact with minors under age 18 unless approved by his probation agent.

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