Additional charges pending against Pittenger

Three additional charges have been filed against a 23-year-old Minot man who just finished serving a sentence for Class A misdemeanor corruption of a minor.

Court records show that Alexander Justin Pittenger is charged with two counts of Class C felony aggravated assault in district court in McHenry County. He allegedly stabbed another man in the torso on May 26, 2015. Two charges were filed under the same statute for the same incident, but the prosecutor asks that the second count be considered “in addition or alternately” to the first count. The man named in the complaint is the same alleged victim for each of the two charges and McHenry County State’s Attorney Joshua Frey filed two charges for the same incident.

The charges were not filed until Wednesday – 2 1/2 years after the incident, during a time period when Pittenger was in custody, serving a sentence on an unrelated charge.

A bench warrant was issued for Pittenger’s arrest in the case on Thursday.

Pittenger is also charged with violating a disorderly conduct restraining order, a Class A misdemeanor, in Pierece County. According to court documents, Pittenger placed a phone call to the alleged victim on March 4, 2017, violating a court order. That charge was filed on Wednesday and an arrest warrant was issued on Thursday. All three cases are in Northeast District Court before Judge Michael Hurly. No court date has been set for an initial appearance for Pittenger on any of the charges.

Pittenger just finished serving a 300 day sentence for having an inappropriate sexual relationship with an area teen girl three years ago. He was found guilty Feb. 6 in district court in Minot of corruption of a minor. The girl was 15 when the relationship occurred and Pittenger was 20.

Pittenger had originally been charged with Class A felony gross sexual imposition and accused of starting a sexual relationship with the girl when she was 14 and he was 19. If convicted of the Class A felony, he could have been sentenced to up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. A trial on that charge ended in mistrial in July 2016. The state dropped the Class A felony charge in December 2016 because it couldn’t prove every element of the crime and Pittenger then went to trial on the misdemeanor corruption of a minor charge in February.

At his sentencing hearing in July, a prosecutor told Judge Stacy Louser that an evaluator decided that Pittenger has a 50 percent or greater likelihood of repeating the crime within the next five years and his relationship with the victim was marked by emotional manipulation and abuse.

Pittenger’s attorney in that case, Homer McMillan, said that Pittenger is not a danger to the community and has the potential to be rehabilitated.

Pittenger is required to register as a sex offender.

Pittenger is appealing his conviction on the corruption charge to the North Dakota Supreme Court.