Top attorney asks judge to throw out graphic allegations against former Crookston teacher

November 25, 2008

By Lisa Gibson. Grand Forks Herald.

<%= simple_format(simple_format("The well-known Twin Cities defense attorney for Kellie Ann Lundon-Cormican, the Crookston woman charged with having sex with a 14-year-old boy, is asking a judge to throw out some of the more graphic allegations against her before her trial begins next month. Earl Gray, known as an aggressive defender of celebrity defendants, filed a motion last week in state district court in Crookston seeking to prohibit prosecutors from mentioning allegations in the case that Lundon-Cormican masturbated in front of a computer camera while the teenage boy watched via his own computer, that she sent text messages to another juvenile and that another teen said she solicited him for sex. Gray cited \"Rule 403,\" which allows a judge to prohibit evidence if it's seen as more unfairly prejudicial than relevant or useful to the case. One of the highest-profile defense attorneys in Minnesota, Gray has defended, for example, former Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper and former Gopher Dominic Jones in sexual offense cases. Lundon-Cormican, 39, faces 10 felony charges - five counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and five counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct - that she had sexual relations with the boy, who was 14, in August and November, 2007. She pleaded not guilty in December. Greg Widseth, Polk County Attorney, has until Friday to respond to the motion. The trial is scheduled for Dec. 16. Lundon-Cormican faces first-degree charges, each carrying a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine; the third-degree charges carry a maximum penalty of 15 years and a $30,000 fine. According to court records, Lundon-Cormican told police in a taped December interview that she had sexual intercourse with the boy, performed oral sex on him and that she thought he was 16. Minnesota state law says a mistake about the victim's age in such an alleged offense is not a defense. Lundon-Cormican worked for Crookston Public Schools from 2004 to the spring of 2007 as a special education paraprofessional. Her contract was not renewed for reasons not related to the charges against her, according to Superintendent Wayne Gilman. The charges against her include the allegation that she was in a position of authority over the boy.")) %>

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