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Mitchell sex offender avoids prison again

A 27-year-old man was given another break Tuesday when Judge Tim Bjorkman allowed him to remain on probation and serve some local jail time, rather than go to state prison, after he admitted to using drugs in violation of his probation in March.

Blair Margiotti was convicted of fourth-degree rape in 2012 and received a suspended five-year prison sentence. He has since admitted to using methamphetamine after he tested positive for the drug while on probation.

"This is a very close case you present to me," Bjorkman said prior to sentencing Tuesday.

Margiotti told Bjorkman after he was released from jail earlier this year, he was able to get his job back but had to take a pay cut and most of his money went toward paying back a loan his employer gave him. He said he has now paid off that loan and his money will go toward fines and costs.

He also said he was unable to attend four of his sex offender treatment sessions because he didn't have money to pay for them and was told he couldn't start until he had money.

A Mitchell Police Division report says the fourth-degree rape took place on July 30, 2011, at Margiotti's residence in Mitchell, and that both he and the victim were drunk at the time. The incident was reported to Mitchell police on Aug. 9, 2011. Margiotti was arrested on a warrant on Oct. 11, 2011, after he failed to turn himself into authorities.

In an unrelated incident, Margiotti was convicted and sentenced to jail time for reckless discharge of a firearm after he accidentally shot his roommate in the knee with a handgun in March 2011.

Assistant State's Attorney Bob O'Keefe said Tuesday Margiotti "has proven himself not worthy to remain on probation." O'Keefe said Margiotti has done the minimum to get by on probation and was not diligent about attending sex offender treatment.

"He is giving excuses about why he's not getting things done," O'Keefe said. "He's been given enough chances to get where he should be."

Margiotti was sentenced Tuesday to serve 180 days in jail, with 127 days credit for time served, which means he will serve 53 days in jail for using methamphetamine while on probation. He will serve his first 30 days starting Dec. 1 and the final 23 days starting Dec. 1, 2014.

As a part of his continued probation, Margiotti is required to attend treatment.

"You must attend every sex offender treatment as scheduled without exception, zero tolerance," Bjorkman said.