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French man convicted of sex crimes committed in Minnesota

BEMIDJI, Minn. -- After fleeing the country and refusing to cooperate with U.S. investigators, a man from France has been convicted in his home country of sexually assaulting two boys at a northern Minnesota language camp.

Adrien Massy, 32, of Angers, France, was sentenced to 12 years in a French prison for sexually assaulting two boys, ages 10 and 11, in 2010 at Concordia Language Village in Bemidji.

Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp was informed Thursday by Honorary French Consul Alain Frecon that Massy had been convicted recently in France.

Massy was convicted of sexual assault, according to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. In addition to Massy's 12-year prison sentence, he has been placed on 10 years of probation with sex offender treatment upon release from prison. Massy faces three additional years in prison if he fails to comply. Massy received a lifetime ban of contact with minors and must register on the French national registry of sex offenders/pedophiles.

According to the release, Frecon said Massy confessed to additional rapes of children in France during the trial. When Massy was sentenced, the French judge stated he was not about to let an incident like this "taint the good Franco-American relationship we have enjoyed for generations," the release said.

Massy was a foreign exchange teacher through the Amity Institute of San Diego and employed at the French Academy of Minnesota in St. Louis Park at the time he assaulted the boys, according to a release from the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office. He was in the Bemidji area between May 22 and May 27, 2010, staying at Concordia Language Village with the boys during a field trip from the French Academy of Minnesota when the sexual assaults occurred.

Beltrami County Sheriff's investigator Danelle Haugen worked with the St. Louis Police Officers and Edina Police detective Mike Lutz on the investigation of assaults Massy committed in Beltrami County and the metro area. The two boys assaulted at Concordia were residents of Minneapolis suburbs and students from the French Academy, according to the release.

Hodapp said Massy was fired from his teaching job, his visa was revoked and he fled to France. Once the investigation was complete, reports were submitted to United States Attorney Jon Docherty who tried to have Massy arrested and extradited back to the U.S. to stand trial.

French authorities located Massy two years ago and took him into custody on the unlawful flight to avoid prosecution warrant from Minnesota, according the the sheriff's office. Rather than extradite Massy, the French court sentenced him to 12 years in a French prison for a U.S. crime. Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said that's not something that is common, to his knowledge.

The U.S. attorney's office was denied a request for extradition by the French government. Frecon informed the Beltrami County Sheriff's Office that French law allows for the prosecution of the defendant without cross-examining the victims because it is written in such a way to protect minor victims from exposure, according to the release.

Massy was tried in court in Angers, France, based on the investigation and reports provided by Beltrami County and Edina authorities along with testimony from the victims' parents.

The language camp is affiliated with Concordia College of Moorhead.