Cloquet man guilty of assaulting 8-year-old
By Mark Stodghill Duluth News Tribune A 53-year-old Cloquet man was found guilty Friday of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl, and the St. Louis County Attorney's office has reserved the right to have the defendant sentenced as a patterned an...
By Mark Stodghill
Duluth News Tribune
A 53-year-old Cloquet man was found guilty Friday of sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl, and the St. Louis County Attorney's office has reserved the right to have the defendant sentenced as a patterned and predatory offender.
Sandford "Skip'' Harvey McColley was convicted of three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The St. Louis County jury in Duluth deliberated for about 4-1?2 hours before returning its verdicts to 6th Judicial District Judge Shaun Floerke.
McColley slowly shook his head from side to side as the first of four guilty verdicts was read. He also had been charged with sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl, but the jury found him not guilty of that assault.
The defendant faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 12 years. However, he could receive a sentence twice as long.
St. Louis County prosecutor Leslie Beiers said her office will make a decision on whether to call a sentencing jury - made up of new jurors - to consider whether to sentence McColley to a double-guideline sentence as a patterned predatory offender.
A patterned sex offender is one whose criminal sexual behavior is so engrained that the risk of reoffending is great without intensive psychotherapeutic intervention or other long-term controls.
McColley has a prior conviction in 1975 for taking indecent liberties. According to the criminal complaint, a St. Louis County sheriff's office investigator also received a call from a woman who said that McColley had molested her and had intercourse with her when she was between the ages of 4 and 11 and living in another state.
The sheriff's investigator conducted interviews on Jan. 10 at the First Witness Child Abuse Resource Center in Duluth with the two girls McColley was accused of assaulting. Those interviews led to the filing of criminal charges in April.
Floerke ordered that McColley undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation before scheduling sentencing. Beiers said her office will make its determination of how to proceed after getting the results of the psycho-sexual evaluation.
Beiers was appreciative of the jury and the victim and alleged victim who came forward.
"The state appreciates how hard these cases are and how difficult they are for everyone involved, particularly the children," Beiers said. "I appreciate the hard work of the jury and am satisfied with the verdict.''
Duluth News Tribune reporter Mark Stodghill can be contacted weekdays at (218) 723-5333 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .