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Former Fargo track coach gets 60 days in jail for possessing child porn

Daniel Stoa, a former Oak Grove Lutheran School cross country and track and field coach, was arrested in February 2021 after investigators found sexually explicit images and videos involving minors in his possession. Oak Grove fired Stoa the day he was arrested.

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Daniel Stoa appears for sentencing in Cass County District Court on Monday, April 11, 2022.
David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — A former Fargo track coach has been sentenced to two months in jail for possessing and sharing child porn.

Cass County Judge Steven Marquardt ordered Daniel Mark Stoa, 34, to serve 60 days in jail for one count of promoting an obscene sexual performance by a minor and four counts of possessing certain materials prohibited by North Dakota law. He will receive credit for five days he already served in jail.

Stoa previously pleaded guilty to the charges . He will have to register as a sex offender and will serve two years of supervised probation.

Stoa, a former Oak Grove Lutheran School cross country and track and field coach, was arrested in February 2021 after investigators found sexually explicit images and videos involving minors in Stoa’s possession. Oak Grove fired Stoa the day he was arrested.

Prosecutor Katherine Naumann recommended a year behind bars, but putting Stoa in jail would “take him away from the good work he has done,” defense attorney James Sandsmark said. The defendant has participated in counseling and is considered low-risk to offend, Sandsmark said.

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Stoa admitted being addicted to porn, but that addiction included only adult porn until about a year ago, Sandsmark claimed in asking for no jail time. Stoa’s actions are out of character, the attorney said.

Stoa apologized in court to his friends and family, calling his behavior disgraceful and embarrassing.

Sandsmark also asked that Stoa be allowed internet access for his job and for entering sports data online. He previously contributed to northdakotascores.net, which compiles high school sports scores, schedules and standings.

He also ran a Twitter account that compiled high school sports results in North Dakota.

Sex offenders involved in child porn cases are typically denied internet access. Marquardt allowed Stoa to use the internet for work only, though a probation officer could give him permission for other uses.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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