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Cass Lake man pleads not guilty to child porn

CASS COUNTY -- A Cass Lake man accused of receiving nude images of a minor pleaded not guilty to a felony Oct. 6.

Shannon Larry Northbird, 39, was employed as a Leech Lake tribal police officer when he allegedly received about 1,000 sexually explicit pictures of a 17-year-old girl in June 2016. A judge recently upheld the charge of felony possession of pornographic work involving a minor, but dismissed a count of misconduct by a public employee.

Northbird was charged with the felony last December, and has maintained that he believed the girl was an adult.

According to a criminal complaint:

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began investigating Northbird in July 2016 after the victim used her friend’s phone to log into Facebook, but did not log out. The friend saw the nude photos the victim had sent to Northbird; the victim’s grandmother then reported them.

Northbird admitted to communicating with the girl, but said she told him that she was 19. During a hearing in July, Northbird said the girl told him she was a bartender and that she had graduated, leading him to believe she was over 18.

Northbird, who is accused of receiving some of the nude photos while he was on duty, is scheduled to appear in court Monday, Oct. 23 for a pretrial hearing.

Grace Pastoor

Grace Pastoor covers crime, courts and social issues for the Bemidji Pioneer. Contact her at (218) 333-9796 or gpastoor@bemidjipioneer.com

(218) 333-9796
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