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Teen sentenced for attempted criminal sexual conduct

IRON MOUNTAIN — An Iron Mountain teenager convicted of attempted third-degree criminal sexual conduct will serve one year in jail.

Trevor Malburg, 17, will also spend three years on probation for the crime, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The Daily News normally does not identify juvenile defendants by name or image, but current Michigan law treats 17-year-olds as adults under the criminal justice system.

Defense attorney John Bergman said Malburg had done “very stupid things” in his life and stressed his client regretted his actions.

“I think that it needs to be impressed upon everyone in the court, the victim and the family that he is remorseful,” Bergman said.

Bergman asked Dickinson County Circuit Judge Mary Barglind follow the recommendation in the pre-sentence investigation report that Malburg be sentenced under the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act, which would allow him to remove the conviction from his criminal record if he completes probation without violation.

Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kristin Kass said Malburg needed to choose a “different path,” describing his history as one of the most serious she had seen as a prosecutor for someone his age.

“If he violates (probation), he will likely go to prison, and he hasn’t even graduated high school yet,” Kass said.

Kass said the recommendation for 12 months in jail and three years of probation was harsh, but said she felt it was appropriate as HYTA status was earned.

In a statement made over Zoom, the 13-year-old female victim claimed Malburg did not care about what he had done and needed psychiatric help.

When Barglind asked if Malburg would apologize to the victim, he said “I guess ‘stupid’ is probably — and ‘irresponsible’ — and the combination of ‘what were you thinking?’ and ‘why?'”

“I don’t know how to explain it, your honor,” Malburg said.

Barglind acknowledged Malburg’s age and said it was human nature for people to think first of themselves before she asked if Malburg had tried to look at the situation from the perspective of a 13-year-old.

“I know it can be damaging,” Malburg said. “I hope it’s not something that sticks with her the rest of her life.”

“Unfortunately, in this job and my career path, I have had to watch what these types of actions have done to people far too many times,” Barglind said. “It’s not a myth they have difficulties for a long, long time.”

Barglind agreed jail and probation was appropriate and recommended Malburg do everything he could to ensure the conviction was removed from his record.

According to the criminal complaint, Malburg sexually assaulted the 13-year-old between the months of July and October.

Malburg initially had been charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct, a felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison, but Kass agreed to reduce the charge in exchange for his guilty plea.

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