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Austin Ashlock, Forum News Servic, Published June 01 2013

Man sentenced for promoting prostitution in ND

GRAND FORKS - After pleading guilty to a lesser charge of promoting prostitution, Joshua Harry, 27, was sentenced to five years in prison with 2½ suspended and five years probation Friday at the Grand Forks County Courthouse.

Harry, along with Amanda Stewart, 22, and Travis Johnson, 30, were charged in August 2012 with human trafficking of an underage girl, a felony charge that carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

According to prosecutors, Harry along with the two co-defendants persuaded a 17-year-old girl to engage in sexual acts with several men in March and April 2011.

Harry and Johnson pleaded lesser charges that were accepted by District Judge Sonja Clapp April 16, amending the charge down to a Class C felony of promoting prostitution.

Harry will also be required to register as an offender against children, a matter Harry’s attorney Patrick Rosenquist said does not make his client a registered sex offender.

Following Harry’s sentencing, he said he felt remorse for the events that took place in 2011.

“I do feel bad for my actions,” Harry said. “Not just to the people involved but towards the people in this room and people in general.”

Stewart was sentenced to service 70 days of community service and two years supervised probation after pleading guilty to the lesser charge of criminal facilitation April 25.

Johnson, who is facing an additional charge of corruption of a minor and a felony charge in Minnesota, is scheduled to be sentenced July 15.

Ashlock writes for the Grand Forks Herald.