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Markus Moe sentenced for felony sex crime

Markus Matthew Moe, 19, of Bemidji, was sentenced Tuesday for third-degree criminal sexual conduct. He pleaded guilty to the charge Aug. 28.

He was sentenced by Judge Paul Benshoof to 36 months in prison and given a stay of execution for 15 years. He must serve 90 days in jail and pay or work off a $300 fine.

As a condition of the stayed sentence, Moe must register as a sex offender, complete outpatient sex offender treatment, complete individual therapy, take all of his prescribed medications, not use the Internet or possess sexual materials. He must not use or possess alcohol or controlled substances and must submit to random testing and searches.

Moe confessed to having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-girl, although he initially said he believed the girl was 15 or 16 years old.

The Bemidji Police Department began investigating the case when it received a call at 11 p.m. June 13 from North Country Regional Hospital regarding sexual assault. Police interviewed the girl, who said she had been friends with Moe for several months and had been his girlfriend for about six days and that they met on a school bus.

On June 12, the girl stayed overnight at a friend's house and the next morning they went to a park in Nymore, where Moe later joined them. The friend had to leave, so the girl and Moe were left alone at the park. They eventually went down to the bushes near a pond and were talking, she told police.

Moe tried to kiss her, and she didn't let him. He then asked her if she wanted to have sex and she replied, "I don't think so." They talked some more and he again asked if she wanted to have sex. The girl said she was not very interested, but said that if he had protection, she might have sex with him. Moe had a condom, so she reportedly agreed to have sex.

Afterward, they left the park and the girl told her sister what had happened. The sister told their mother, who then took the girl to the hospital.

Police tracked down Moe, and when they asked him why they wanted to speak with him, Moe said he had had sex with an underage girl. Police asked how old he thought the girl was and he said 15 or 16, but also knew that she was in middle school.