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Forum staff reports, Published February 22 2011

Plea deal draws 60 days in jail for Fargo man in sexual assault

FARGO – A 29-year-old Fargo man who was charged with gross sexual imposition for a sexual assault in late 2009 will serve two months in jail after a Monday plea hearing in Cass County District Court.

Nathan Bruce Malaterre agreed to plead guilty to two lesser charges: criminal trespass as a Class C felony and sexual assault as a Class B misdemeanor.

He was sentenced to one year, with all but 60 days suspended on the trespassing charge as well as two years of probation. He also got two years of probation on the sexual assault charge.

Though Malaterre will be required to undergo sex offender treatment, he will not have to register as a sex offender.

While the initial charge was a Class A felony, Cherie Clark, assistant Cass County state’s attorney, said prosecutors agreed to a plea deal because the case had “weird facts.”

Malaterre went to the home of the female victim after drinking at a bar Dec. 27, 2009, and she later told police she woke up in her bed to find him having sex with her. He at first denied having any sexual contact with the woman.

Police found the victim’s DNA on Malaterre, but his defense attorney said in Monday’s hearing it wasn’t clear if the sexual contact was consensual or not.