Kotten gets stay of adjudication

NEW ULM – A 24-year-old rural Sleepy Eye man who originally faced a felony electronic solicitation of a child charge for chatting with a police officer who posed as a 13-year-old girl online last April, received a stay of adjudication Monday in Brown County Court.

Timothy I. Kotten was fined $2,080, which is due April 14, 2015. He was placed on three years supervised probation and sentenced to 15 days in the Brown County Jail on Monday. He may serve five jail days via Sentenced to Serve if fees are paid, to be completed within six months.

Probation conditions include successful completion of an outpatient sex offender treatment program, no contact with females under age 18 unless he is with an approved supervisor or approved by agent or treatment provider.

His Internet use will be limited to employment or education unless approved by an agent, who may require third-party Internet monitoring. He must submit to polygraph examinations as directed.

On March 21, 2013, a Brown County Sheriff’s Office investigator got a call from an officer in Renville County who said he had contact with a 19-year-old male subsequently identified as Kotten in a Yahoo! chat room at about 2 a.m. on April 16, 2012, according to the complaint.

The officer was investigating Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force cases when the chat room discussions happened, according to court documents.

Kotten told the officer he was a business student enrolled in online classes at a college in Marshall and living in his family’s home when the online chats took place. He used a web cam for nearly all the chat, allowing the officer to see his face via a web cam video feed. He exposed himself several times during several chats on different dates, according to the complaint.

The officer accessed the Southwest Minnesota State University student directory and confirmed Kotten’s student status and accessed Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) records for a photo of Kotten, and identified him with the person viewed via the web cam feed, according to court documents.

Online chat records showed Kotten’s screen name appeared as “Tim K” after he accepted a chat room friend request from the officer on May 2, 2012. The officer’s screen name always appeared as “Abbie13MN” during the chat room conversations, according to the complaint.

On May 14 and June 20, 2012, Kotten exposed himself to the officer via his web cam and engaged in chat room discussion including asking the officer if she would lie with him in bed.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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