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Bryan sentenced for sex crimes

Sylvester Leonard Bryan, 61, of Bemidji pleaded guilty May 5 and was sentenced Monday, Aug. 10, in Beltrami County District Court for two counts of serious felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct and third-degree criminal sexual conduct with force or coercion.

Judge John Melbye sentenced Bryan to concurrent 48-month prison terms on the two convictions, with credit for 191 days served. Conditional release after confinement has been set at 99 years. He must supply a DNA sample, pay a fine of $161 and register as a sex offender for life.

On Jan. 29, a Beltrami County investigator was notified by an agent of the Beltrami County Child Protection Department of a possible sexual assault in Ten Lake Township. Beltrami County had received information from the Cass Lake Sexual Assault Program that a 17-year-old girl had been sexually assaulted by Bryan. The girl reported that Bryan had been touching her inappropriately since she was 11.

In a Jan. 30 interview at the Family Advocacy Center at North Country Regional Hospital, the girl said the incidents, which included penetration by Bryan, had been occurring two or three times a day and that the offenses had been occurring for several years.

The complete charge against Bryan is sexual penetration with another person who he has a significant relationship with who is at least 16, but younger than 18, when he is more than 24 months older.

Bryan was arrested in January in North Dakota and transported to Beltrami County Jail.

Bryan's arrest caused other women to come forward to report that he had also sexually assaulted them.

On Feb. 2, a Beltrami County investigator spoke with a 19-year-old woman who said she had been a victim of sexual abuse by Bryan since she was about 15.

Another woman said she had also been a victim of Bryan. That offense resulted in one of Bryan's previous sexual misconduct convictions.

In 1981, he was convicted in Itasca County for fourth-degree assault -- interfamilial sexual abuse. In 1989, he was also convicted in Itasca County for second-degree criminal sexual conduct.