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FBI investigating Bradford Mitchell

The FBI has been working with local authorities on an investigation of Bradford Mitchell, the 52-year-old Michigan man sentenced last week for the statutory rape of a 16-year-old San Luis Obispo girl.

Federal charges have not yet been ruled out in the case and the investigation is ongoing, according to Laura Eimiller, a spokeswoman with the FBI.

Judge Michael Duffy sentenced Mitchell last week to two years in state prison after he entered a plea of no contest to statutory rape, oral copulation with a minor, and communicating with a person over the Internet for the purposes of committing a crime.

Mitchell met the girl about four to five months through an online virtual game with avatar characters on the Web site There.com, prosecutors said.

He then coordinated a trip from Michigan in December to meet with the girl in person. Mitchell and the girl spent two nights in different places in the county before the Pismo Beach Police Department found them in Shell Beach, and arrested Mitchell.

The teenager since has received some help with dealing with traumatic events in her life, including her father’s death and the situation with Mitchell.

Mitchell has a minor criminal record, his lawyer, Ron Crawford, said at the sentencing. Crawford said that his client was remorseful and well aware of the effect that he has had on the young woman and her family.

The Tribune is not naming the teenager because she’s a minor and a victim of a sex crime.

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