The Itasca County Attorney’s Office on Thursday announced that a West Virginia man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to raping an 11-year-old girl earlier this year.

The office charged 28-year-old Cody Michael Porter, of Wheeling, W.Va., in August with four counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct. Porter pleaded guilty this past Monday to one of the counts. Minnesota’s sentencing laws allow for a conviction on only one of the four counts.

Porter’s 144-month sentence was negotiated through a plea deal. He will be subject to a minimum 10-year conditional release period and required to register as a predatory offender.

According to the criminal complaint, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office received a report on July 31 of a girl who had been sexually assaulted while vacationing with several family members in Bigfork, a small city with a population of about 500 people residing 40 miles north of Grand Rapids near Scenic State Park. The girl’s mother brought her to the Bigfork Emergency Room to be examined and then to Bemidji for medical attention.

A county investigator responded to the lodge, where witnesses told him that about 25 family members were staying there for vacation. Porter, who was in a romantic relationship with the girl’s aunt, was staying in the lodge.

The investigator discovered that the girl and another child both fell asleep in Porter’s bed. The girl was sexually assaulted during the night or early morning hours of July 30-31 at the lodge in Bigfork. Her 13-year-old female cousin said that Porter, who is her mother’s boyfriend, had raped her several times over the past two years in West Virginia.

At the lodge, Porter denied any sexual contact with either of the two girls. But he admitted to sexually assaulting them during a subsequent statement. The assaults on the 13-year-old girl have since been reported to law enforcement in West Virginia.

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