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2 arrested in child solicitation case

DULUTH, MN — Two people are in custody after Duluth Police conducted two separate investigations in the region.

According to Duluth Police, one of the investigations was received locally from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s cybertip reporting system, and the other was from a separate state agency.

Mitchel Kasper, 23, was arrested and then charged with four counts of third degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of solicitation of a child through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct, engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child, possession of child pornography and distribution by electronic communication material relating or describing sexual conduct to a child.

In addition, police say Leonard Conklin Jr., 62, was arrested on an active warrant from the state of Florida for the charge of Lewd Acts Toward a Minor with an electronic device.

At this time, police say Conklin is waiting to be extradited to Florida for his warrant.

Police say electronic evidence were found, and are being examined by the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Police say they will also be looking to see if there are other victims who may still need to be identified.

Officials say parents and guardians should speak to children about how to not become a victim of online solicitation, and also how to report the crimes to your local police department, as well as to the social media platforms kids may be using.

Tips on how to protect yourself can be found by clicking here.

Anyone who believes they are being exploited can make a report on the social media platform you are using, or to call 911, as well as by clicking here to access the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

Krystal Frasier

Social Media and Digital Content Manager

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