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Bemidji man sentenced for criminal sexual conduct

Michael John Black, 44, pleaded guilty April 29 in Beltrami County District Court to two counts of serious felony criminal sexual conduct. He was sentenced by Judge John Melbye Wednesday, July 29.

He was sentenced to 48 concurrent months on the two convictions in prison with credit for 387 days served. He must supply a DNA sampled, register as a predatory offenders and pay a $188 fine.

The prison time is a downward departure from a possible 25-year prison term because he was abused as a child and never received treatment.

According to the criminal complaint, from 1998 to 2000, Black engaged in sexual conduct with a boy and a girl who were younger than 16 years old at the time. The sexual abuse in both cases involved multiple acts committed over an extended period of time. The two people said they decided to report the abuse in 2007 because they thought it would help another person.

Black's criminal record includes a charge of felony second-degree assault from a Nov. 16, 1998, incident when he pointed a loaded .12 gauge shotgun at a man and a woman and at three children. Although the offense was charged as a felony, Black pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of reckless discharge of a firearm. He was subsequently convicted of felony felon in possession of a firearm, two counts of gross misdemeanor giving a peace officer a false name and felony failure to appear in court.