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Thomas Carey, hockey player in underage sex video, gets deal for just 30 days

Carey's former teammate and co-star Brandon Smith learns Thursday if his deal will stand.

Carey's former teammate and co-star Brandon Smith learns Thursday if his deal will stand.

A junior hockey player filmed having sex with a Moorhead high schooler had his plea deal finalized this week. The deal, approved by a Clay County District Court judge Monday, keeps Thomas Ryan Carey off the sex offender registry and spares him from any additional jail time.

Back in February 2014, Carey and another player on the United States Hockey League’s Lincoln Stars were in town playing the Fargo Stars, according to a complaint. Carey, a Moorhead native, met the girl online. After the game, the girl came back to a Moorhead hotel where Carey and teammate Brandon Nicholas Smith took turns playing cameraman while the other had sex with the girl. Both men, who were 19 at the time, later admitted knowing she was underage.

Video of Carey and the girl was passed around to other hockey bros and at least one high school student. Child pornography charges were filed against the duo. The girl learned that the guys had shared the cellphone vid after receiving messages from other girls and hockey players saying “hey, nice video.”

Carey and Smith’s attorneys tried to paint the teenage girl as the sexual instigator, claiming she introduced herself online with a couple of nudie pics. During the pre-trial process they argued that she was on a mission to hook up with at least one player from every team in the league, a quest they allege continued after the child porn incident.

While the guys told police that the girl agreed to the filming of their illegal sexual encounter, minors cannot legally consent to being in a porno video.

As the case moved forward, rhetoric from both sides got so heated that a judge eventually enacted a gag order barring the lawyers from discussing it outside of the courtroom. At various points, the defense argued the child pornography in question was a free speech issue (just kids sexting, ya know) and that the girl who was not old enough to drive referred to herself as a “proud puck slut.” Sounds gag-worthy.

Under the plea deal brokered back in November, Carey was ordered to spend 30 days in jail — time he already served on work release — pay $2,000 in court costs, and given a decade of supervised probation. Smith, who agreed to the same terms, finds out Thursday if his deal will stand. The judge was waiting for final investigations to wrap up before signing off on their sentences.