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Sex offender headed to prison after probation violations

Judge Sean O'Brien re-imposed a seven-year prison sentence Tuesday on a man convicted in 2009 of having sexual contact with a child younger than 15.

O'Brien said he "had very little choice" but to send Loren Gene Mead, 21, to prison for his lengthy history of probation violations after Mead admitted last month to violating multiple terms of his probation.

Mead was convicted in January in Minnehaha County of failure to register as a sex offender and failure to provide notice of a change in address while on probation in Davison County.

For the 2009 sexual contact conviction, Mead was initially granted a suspended imposition of sentence, which would have allowed him to avoid having to register as a sex offender, but it was revoked in April 2009 after his first violation. He violated his probation again when he was discharged from a Sioux Falls treatment facility for numerous rules violations.

"I don't want to say I looked forward to today's date, because that's not true. But I have anticipated it," said Davison County State's Attorney Pat Smith, who went on to say Mead is likely the worst probation violator he has ever dealt with.

"Court Services is busy enough," Smith said. "To burden them with Mr. Mead is just not fair."

Mead said he understood Smith's position.

"I accept my responsibility," Mead said. "I messed up."

O'Brien re-imposed Mead's suspended seven-year prison sentence and gave him credit for 274 days served.

"For whatever reason, you just don't seem to be able to follow the rules," O'Brien told Mead.