Kalispell man gets suspended sentence for sex assault

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A 55-year-old Kalispell man was given a 10-year suspended sentence Thursday in Flathead District Court after pleading guilty to felony sexual assault.

Donald Michaelson admitted that on July 19, 2011, he sat on a front porch with a 10-year old girl, rubbing the inside of her thigh with his hand. A court document stated Michaelson also told her she was pretty and that he would “treat her like a woman.”

Judge David Ortley agreed the suspended sentence was unusual given the nature of the offense, but followed the recommendation of the Flathead County Attorney’s Office in levying the sentence.

Ortley said it was supported by the agreement of everyone involved in the case, the type of medical care now needed by Michaelson and by Michaelson’s designation as a tier 1 sexual offender — the type with the lowest likelihood to reoffend.

Michaelson said he plans to move to a veterans home in Connecticut in the near future.

In addition to his suspended sentence, Michaelson was ordered to pay a $160 surcharge, $100 for prosecution costs and a $50 pre-sentence investigation report fee. He also was ordered to complete sex offender treatment.

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