A former assistant high school volleyball coach in Forest Lake has been sentenced for sexually assaulting one of his players and another student after he was hired despite a conviction years earlier for a similar offense in Wisconsin.

Mark R. Kosloski, 48, of Wyoming, Minn., was sentenced Monday in Chisago County District Court to a four-year term after he pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct in two separately filed cases in connection with the encounters while he was a coach at North Lakes Academy.

Kosloski will serve 2 23 years in prison and the balance on supervised release. He will be registered as a predatory offender and be placed on supervised release for the rest of his life.

In arguing for the four-year term, prosecutors pointed out in a pre-sentence filing last week that Kosloski was convicted in western Wisconsin of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 1999, when he was 24 and the victim was 16. He also admitted to sexual encounters with other teenage girls at that time, the filing continued.

"Despite this," the filing read, "he was hired as a coach at North Lakes Academy and positioned himself to be around young females where he could continue to offend with the same age group 20 years later. Due to this fact, the defendant has an inherent risk to [re-offend], regardless of his age."

Cam Stottler, the academy's executive director, cited "pending legal matters" and declined to explain Tuesday how Kosloski was allowed to coach at the school while being a convicted sex offender.

Stottler also declined to describe the academy's current background check policy other than to say it "meets all legal requirements in terms of hiring and maintaining up-to-date information of [academy] staff and employees."

One of the former students, now 21 years old, is suing the school and Kosloski for more than $50,000 and other damages in connection with being "sexually harassed, sexually abused and sexually assaulted" by Kosloski.

The suit alleges the academy lacked "any policy setting standards for acceptable background check providers" and instead relied on the day-to-day judgments of its staff to vet applicants based on their criminal history results, but could not protect against lapses in judgment."

In Kosloski's case, the suit continues, he provided and paid for his own background check through Protect My Ministry, which "inaccurately stated that Kosloski had no criminal history."

That meant, the suit noted, that academy officials failed to uncover Kosloski's conviction in St. Croix County (Wis.) Circuit Court involving a 16-year-old basketball player he was coaching.

"We found [the conviction] doing a $2 background check," Marlene Goldenberg, the plaintiff's attorney, said Tuesday.

Defense attorney John Barragry argued for his client to be sentenced to a year in the county jail and 15 years of probation. He noted that Kosloski has shown remorse, accepted responsibility for his crimes and is amenable to psychological treatment.

Barragry went on to describe Kosloski as a churchgoing husband and father to two boys, and he "has a tremendous amount of family support and has every reason to remain on the straight and narrow. Given the opportunity, Mr. Kosloski intends to be a model probationer."

According to the charges, one student, who is now an adult, gave Wyoming police on Feb. 2, 2021, what she said was a text exchange from a couple of nights earlier that included Kosloski acknowledging wrongdoing after she pressed him to apologize.

On the same day, the woman contacted police, Kosloski quit as the public charter school's head boys basketball coach, a post he had held since November 2015. Kosloski was on the girls' volleyball coaching staff for the 2017-18 season and did not hold any other positions with the school.

The woman told police that Kosloski trained her and the rest of the team during the summer before her senior year but she was kicked off the team for smoking marijuana.

She said Kosloski offered to have her work out and train at his home gym. It was during those sessions that they started having sex until late December 2020, when she ended the relationship, the complaint read.

The other former student, a manager on Kosloski's basketball team and an athlete on other academy teams, contacted police in March after seeing news coverage about the first woman's accusations. She said Kosloski sexually assaulted her in the fall of 2018 in much the same manner as he did the other student at his home.

She also told police that she knew Kosloski "to be texting with several other girls at North Lakes Academy at that time," the complaint read.