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Forum News Service, Published September 19 2013

Perham man gets jail for attempted Internet chat with girl

FERGUS FALLS, Minn. - A Perham man was sentenced this week in Otter Tail County District Court to jail time following a felony conviction of engaging in electronic communication relating to sexual conduct with a child.

A deputy in Kalispell, Mont., conducted an undercover computer chat investigation and posed as a 13-year-old girl while communicating with John Patrick Flatley, 54, according to court records.

Flatley admitted to authorities that in the recent past he had begun to use Internet chat rooms as a method of dealing with his urges for children. His communication with the undercover deputy in Montana took place between May 10 and Nov. 2, 2012.

He will serve 90 days in the county jail and pay a $1,000 fine. A sentence of 20 months in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud was stayed for four years.