20-year prison sentence for man who sexually assaulted boy with autism

MINOT, N.D. – A Minot man will spend the next two decades behind bars after he admitted earlier this year to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old boy with developmental disabilities.

Fifty-three-year-old Darrell Midkiff pleaded guilty in June to the AA felony charge of gross sexual imposition.

Investigators say that Midkiff’s son went to authorities after witnessing one of the acts.

An interview with the boy and DNA testing confirmed the story.

Judge Stacy Louser accepted the state’s recommendation of a 40-year sentence, with 20 years suspended. Louser said she did not want to run the risk of an acquittal at trial if she rejected the deal, citing the harm brought to the victim and his family.

“That hell is much worse than any prison cell that you will call home for years to come,” said Louser. “The mental scars you have left are immeasurable,” she later added.

Louser also said that she deemed Midkiff a continued risk to society after he tested ‘high’ or ‘above average’ on parts of an offender risk assessment.

Midkiff apologized to the victim and his family for his actions, and said he wanted to go through treatment.

“Shame on me. It’s bad,” said Midkiff.

Midkiff will also serve ten years of supervised probation upon release and will have to register as a sex offender and go through treatment.

He will receive credit for 238 days already served.