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Suspect in Mandan luring case pleads guilty

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A man accused of traveling from Arizona to Mandan to meet with someone he thought was a teenage girl has pleaded guilty to two charges.

Christopher Sweeney, 32, will be sentenced after a presentence investigation. He pleaded guilty Friday to luring minors by computer, a felony, and criminal attempt, a misdemeanor. Court documents say he now lives in Bismarck.

Mandan police alleged Sweeney had a number of conversations of a sexual nature with an officer posing online as a 14-year-old girl earlier this year. Sweeney eventually traveled to Mandan and was arrested when he went to a local park for a prearranged meeting, according to an affidavit.

Assistant Morton County State’s Attorney Chase Lingle and defense attorney Kevin Chapman, of Williston, presented a plea agreement outlining a five-year prison sentence that would be deferred during a five-year supervised probation period. A deferred sentence means the offense wouldn't go on Sweeney’s record if he stayed out of trouble while on probation. Sweeney would also have to register as a sex offender.

South Central District Judge James Hill accepted the plea agreement pending the outcome of the presentence investigation.

Chapman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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