A Dalton man must register as a sex offender as part of a plea deal in a case that charged him with using a computer and social media platform to solicit sex with a minor.
In December 2020, Micah Courteau, 32, of Dalton, was indicted by a Grafton Superior Court grand jury on a Class B felony count of prohibited use of computer services to entice what he believed to be a 15-year-old female for sex, and two Class B felony counts of attempted felonious sexual assault (AFSA).
He also faced a Class B felony count for endangering the welfare of a child when he solicited the minor to perform a sex act on the Skout social media platform so he could watch.
On Feb. 26, 2020, prosecutors said Courteau used Skout to communicate with “Emma” to set up a time and place to meet to engage in a sexual act specified in their communication.
Courteau agreed to travel to a specific location to meet the minor, and did in fact travel to Hannaford supermarket in Lebanon, said authorities.
“Emma,” however, turned out to be Lebanon Police Lt. Richard Norris, who was acting undercover.
In an excerpt in the indictments, Courteau requested sex in the same Skout communication where “Emma” told him, “No silly I’m only 15.”
According to a narrative from the Lebanon Police Department about Courteau’s arrest, the police department’s cyber crimes unit, which is an affiliate from the New Hampshire Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, had been conducting an investigation through the social media provider targeting people who were looking to sexually exploit children.
The officer engaged in conversation with a male later identified as Courteau, who arrived at the location in Lebanon.
Courteau was arrested and held without bail and on preventative detention at the Grafton County House of Corrections.
On the day after his Feb. 26, 2020 arrest, Courteau was released on a $25,000 unsecured bond, but prosecutors four months later filed a motion to revoke bail, according to the case summary.
After a hearing, bail was set at $10,000 cash in September.
Court records show Courteau spent more than half a year in the Grafton County House of Corrections after his arrest.
As the case headed toward trial, Courteau, on June 2, 2021, announced he would plead guilty to the four charges, in a deal that allows him to avoid prison.
(Each Class B felony count carried a maximum of 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison).
During a plea and sentencing hearing on June 30, a notice of the requirement to register as a sex offender was filed with the court.
For the charge of unlawful use of computers, Courteau was given a 12-month sentence in the Grafton County House of Corrections, with 240 days credit for time served.
For the first count of attempted AFSA with a victim age 13 to 15, he was given a 12-month House of Corrections sentence with up to six months suspended on condition of five years of good behavior and 39 days credit for time served, and consecutive to the sentence for prohibited use of a computer.
For the second AFSA charge, Courteau was given a sentence of 2- to 4-years in New Hampshire State Prison, all suspended on condition of five years of good behavior, completion of any required counseling or treatment, and two years probation.
For the count of endangering a child, he was given another 2- to 4-year prison sentence, all suspended on condition of good behavior and compliance with recommendations of a sex offender evaluation.