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Ex-teacher convicted of sexually assaulting girl

GRAND FORKS -- A jury convicted former teacher Sean Kovalevich on Thursday of having sex with a 14-year-old girl in a Grand Forks hotel last year, and he faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced in February.

Kovalevich, 28, was taken into custody pending sentencing.

Law enforcement investigators testified that the girl, from Belcourt, said Kovalevich bought her jewelry, dresses, underwear, high heels and black boots and had sexual contact with her during two nights in the Canad Inns in Grand Forks in February 2012 when she was 14.

The two Class AA felony counts covering those allegations each carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Kovalevich also was convicted of sexual contact with the girl in the same hotel over two nights in August 2012, when she was 15. That Class C felony count carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The former Delaware resident came to North Dakota in 2010 to work at St. Ann’s Catholic parish in Belcourt, on the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation. Kovalevich had been out on bond since his arrest Dec. 12, when he was living in Cando, N.D., and working as a science teacher in the Starkweather, N.D., high school.

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