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Published October 02, 2012, 03:46 PM

Man Pleads Not Guilty in Prostitution Case

Michael Delmore, a retired high school counselor charged with hiring a 17-year-old for sex, pleaded not guilty Monday in state district court in Grand Forks, through his attorney.

By: Stephen J. Lee, Grand Forks Herald

Michael Delmore, a retired high school counselor charged with hiring a 17-year-old for sex, pleaded not guilty Monday in state district court in Grand Forks, through his attorney.

Delmore, 60, did not appear himself, waiving his right to the appearance on the Class B misdemeanor. His attorney, Tim O’Keeffe of Fargo, entered a not guilty plea for Delmore and asked for a pre-trial conference to be scheduled. It was set by state District Judge Joel Medd for Dec. 6.

Medd told O’Keeffe that Delmore had to appear for it.

O’Keeffe told the Herald that Delmore likely will comment later on the case.

Delmore is the only alleged customer charged in what the Grand Forks County prosecutors say was a ring of two men and a woman prostituting a 17-year-old girl to several male customers in Grand Forks over several months in early 2011.

Those three — Amanda Stewart, Joshua Harry and Travis Johnson — all face Class AA felony charges of human trafficking of a minor in state district court, which carries a maximum penalty of life in prison without parole.

Stewart bailed out of jail this summer. Harry and Johnson, who face other charges, remain in the Grand Forks County jail. The three are scheduled for preliminary hearings Oct. 24 and arraignments Nov. 14.

Delmore was a counselor at Larimore (N.D.) High School for more than two decades before retiring last spring.

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