The Ward District Attorney’s Office has appealed against North Central District Court Judge Doug Mattson’s dismissal of a Class A aggravated sex charge against Donald James Dean Mitchell, 21.
According to court records, Mattson dismissed the case unscathed in October 2020 after determining that there was no likely reason for the case to continue. The judge found that the testifying officer did not know the incident firsthand and did not identify the age of Mitchell or the girl. The testifying officer had to review a police affidavit to determine Mitchell’s age and had testified that the girl could have been 15 or 16 years old at the time of the alleged crime on December 1, 2018, when she was actually 14 was. Mitchell was 19 years old at the time.
Mattson dismissed the charges but said the state could reopen the case against Mitchell.
According to the affidavit filed with the court, a video showing the girl and Mitchell was recorded by a teenage boy at a party and sent to several people, and ultimately to the girl. The 14-year-old girl was apparently under the influence of alcohol at the time.
The arguments on the appeal are slated for May 13 in the North Dakota Supreme Court.
Get the latest news and more in your inbox