A Grand Forks man was sentenced Monday, Dec. 2, to five years of supervised probation for soliciting a minor.
Derek James Mortrud, 33, submitted an Alford plea Monday afternoon, meaning he maintains his innocence but admits there are sufficient facts for a jury to find him guilty. He also will pay $525 in court fees and will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years. He was ordered not to contact the victim or the juvenile who reported the crime.
The class C felony carried a maximum five-year sentence or $10,000 or both. It was reduced from a class A felony charge of gross sexual imposition as part of the plea agreement.
According to an affidavit for Mortrud's arrest, the sexual assault allegation was brought forward by a child known by the victim. The child, known as Joe Doe, told an elementary school counselor that Mortrud had molested the victim, Jane Doe, in 2017. Court documents indicated that the counselor reported the admission to police immediately and Jane Doe was interviewed by police the following day.
Jane Doe, who is younger than 15, told police that Mortrud had assaulted her about four months earlier. The affidavit also said that Joe Doe told police that Mortrud "basically raped (Jane Doe)" and "he should go to jail."