BEMIDJI, Minn. - A French National was convicted Thursday in two sexual assaults that were carried out against children at a camp in northern Minnesota .
Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodap says he was informed by French authorities that 32-year-old Adrien Massey of Angers, France was found guilty of the assaults, which involved two young victims from the Twin Cities. Massey was participating at the time as a foreign exchange teacher through the Amity Institute of San Diego and was employed as a teacher at the French Academy of Minnesota in St. Louis Park.
Authorities say Massey was in the Bemidji area between May 22 and May 27, 2010, staying at Concordia language camp when the sexual assaults occurred. The victims - a 10-year-old and an 11-year-old - were at Concordia language camp with Massey while on a field trip from the French Academy of Minnesota.
Beltrami County Sheriff's Investigator Danelle Haugen worked with St, Louis Park Police Officers and Edina Police Detective Mike Lutz to develop the investigation of the assaults in Beltrami County. They uncovered additional assaults by Massey which occurred in the metro area. Massey was fired from his teaching job, his U.S. visa was revoked and he fled to France where he refused to cooperate with the investigation.
Evidence was submitted to assistant United States Attorney Jon Docherty in an effort to have Massey arrested and extradited back to the United States to stand trial. French authorities located Massey and took him into custody approximately two years ago on the "unlawful flight to avoid prosecution" (UFAP), warrant from Minnesota.
The U.S. attorney's office in Minneapolis immediately began extradition proceedings but their request was refused by French authorities. Instead, in a situation that is rare, French authorities chose to try Massey on the Minnesota crimes in France. Massey was tried in the court in Angers, France, based upon the investigation conducted by Beltrami County and Edina authorities with testimony provided by some of the parents of Massey's victims.
Massey was convicted of sexual assault, penetration and pedophilia. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison plus 10 years of probation with sex offender treatment upon release from prison.
Authorities say Massey confessed to additional rapes of children in France during the trial. When Massey was sentenced, the French judge stated he was not about to let an incident like this "taint the good Franco-American relationship we have enjoyed for generations."