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Imprisoned former Duluth firefighter sentenced on state charges

DULUTH, Minn. -- Caleb Stuart Lofald admitted this week to surreptitiously recording a woman and child in various states of undress, but the former Fargo and Duluth firefighter will not face any additional prison time beyond the lengthy sentence ...

1464311+Caleb Stuart Lofald.jpg
Caleb Stuart Lofald

 

DULUTH, Minn. -- Caleb Stuart Lofald admitted this week to surreptitiously recording a woman and child in various states of undress, but the former Fargo and Duluth firefighter will not face any additional prison time beyond the lengthy sentence he has already received on federal child pornography charges.

Lofald, 34, on Wednesday pleaded guilty in State District Court to two charges of interference of privacy in connection with the illicit recordings, which prosecutors said were produced in a guest room of his Hermantown, Minn., home.

Judge Sally Tarnowski on Friday sentenced him to one year and one day in prison, a term that will be served concurrently with a 17½-year sentence he received in U.S. District Court in November.

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St. Louis County prosecutor Gary Bjorklund said sentencing guidelines prohibit the prison terms from being served consecutively. However, he said the case was important to the victims.

"The mother wanted convictions on these charges -- for what he did to her," Bjorklund told the judge. "It's a sad case."

Lofald, for his part, was eager to see the case resolved, said defense attorney Rick Gondik.

"Mr. Lofald, from the day he came into my office, was a person who acknowledged that he had a problem," Gondik said. "He didn't want to put any of his victims through a trial or extended court proceedings. He takes full responsibility for what he did."

Lofald, who appeared in an orange jail jumpsuit and sporting a thick beard, declined to speak before being sentenced.

Lofald in August pleaded guilty to a federal production of child pornography charge. Authorities began investigating after he allegedly used a fire station computer to distribute images of the 4-month-old girl.

Police executed search warrants at the Duluth Heights fire station and Lofald's Hermantown home on Nov. 20, 2014, seizing several electronic devices. Forensic searches uncovered 11 images of a sexual assault of the infant, along with videos of the woman and 6-year-old boy in Lofald's guest room, according to court documents.

Lofald must serve at least 85 percent of his federal prison sentence -- nearly 15 years -- before he is eligible for release. After his release, Lofald will have to register as a sex offender and will be subject to 25 years of probation.

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Bjorklund said the parents of the infant were satisfied with the sentence and did not wish to pursue sexual assault charges that were pending at the state level.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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