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Fugelseth commitment trial going into 12th day

After 11 days of proceedings, the protracted civil commitment trial of Kirk Fugelseth, who has admitted molesting 31 children, remained unresolved Friday.

After 11 days of proceedings, the protracted civil commitment trial of Kirk Fugelseth, who has admitted molesting 31 children, remained unresolved Friday.

Both sides headed back to court today.

The Clay County District Court trial is expected to continue through the weekend until testimony is complete.

The trial, which started Aril 1, has experienced sporadic recesses to accommodate the schedules of expert witnesses.

The Clay County attorney's office and the Minnesota attorney general's office have petitioned the court to have Fugelseth, 36, indefinitely committed to a state security hospital as a sexual psychopathic personality and a sexually dangerous person.

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Fugelseth recently completed a federal sentence for possessing child pornography.

He said during his current trial he has benefited from sexual offender treatment and now believes he can cope with problems that caused him to sexually abuse children.

He said he began sexually molesting children when he was 8 years old and he said some victims were his friends at the time.

Fugelseth, a North Dakota native and former resident of Moorhead, has been prosecuted and convicted for only a few of the acts to which he has admitted. A court-appointed mental health examiner told the court Fugelseth does not meet the criteria for commitment.

An expert hired by the county reviewed Fugelseth's history and concluded he is a candidate for commitment.

Once trial testimony is completed Judge Kathleen Weir will allow attorneys time to file written arguments before rendering a decision, a process that could take three weeks to a month.

Fugelseth remains in the Clay County Jail pending the outcoming of the proceedings.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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