Former student avoids trial and risk of 30+ years in prison.

    A former Fisher High School student has avoided going to trial for sex crimes involving two young girls by pleading guilty to counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

    Jarrin Dean Boucher, 18, of Crookston, offered his plea before Judge Kurt Marben in Polk County District Court Tuesday. In a plea agreement reached with the Polk County Attorney's Office, prosecutors will recommend a sentence of 12 to almost 14 years in prison, which Marben will determine after a pre-sentence investigation. Boucher had faced spending 30-plus years in prison if convicted on the five original charges. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2013.

    The charges stem from accusations raised by two students in the Fisher School kindergarten class Boucher served as a classroom aide for during the 2011-12 school year, through a youth service program at the high school that also allowed juniors and seniors to earn class credit. According to the criminal complaint, a six-year-old girl told family, school and law enforcement authorities that Boucher had “touched her in the wrong place" three times in school on April 25. When interviewed by investigators, Boucher initially denied the accusations, but then admitted to two of them.

    A couple of weeks after being charged with first- and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with that incident and appearing in court on May 1, a five-year-old girl came forward with allegations that Boucher had fondled her three times the past Halloween, which he admitted to in an interview with authorities. Three more charges, of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, were filed May 17.

    Because Boucher was a minor when the earlier incident occurred, he was charged as a juvenile in that case. Due to the nature of the crimes and Boucher's age, the prosecution requested an adult certification hearing, which had been continued twice but not yet settled at the time the defendant pleaded guilty.

    Boucher is being held at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center on $250,000 bond.