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Grand Forks man accused of sexual acts with minor

A Grand Forks man made his initial appearance Friday on allegations he had an illegal sexual relationship with a teenage girl in 2013.

Shawn Michael Johnston, 25, appeared Friday in Northeast Central District Court where he faces one count of corruption of a minor, a misdemeanor. Johnston was arrested Thursday, just less than a year after a warrant was issued for him in the case in June 2016, court records show.

According to an affidavit, in February 2015, a 17-year-old female reported being sexually assaulted by Johnston in 2013 when she was 16 in Grand Forks. She told police the two had been in a relationship when he was 22 and she was 16, and that Johnston knew how old she was.

The victim said during the summer of 2013, Johnston sexually assaulted her.

In an interview with police in February 2015, Johnston acknowledged having a sexual relationship with the girl but said it was consensual, according to the affidavit.

Sexual relationships with minors are illegal in North Dakota, no matter the age of the offender.

Johnston pleaded guilty to corruption of a minor in 2012. He has twice pleaded guilty to failing to register as a sex offender in Grand Forks County.

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