MONTEVIDEO -- Steven Jon Lynn Horton, 22, of Montevideo, was sentenced Thursday to 156 months, or 13 years, in prison on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge for sexual contact with a young girl in January in Clara City.
As part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Dwayne Knutsen, Horton was also ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and register as a predatory offender. Horton was also ordered to serve a 10-year conditional release period after his prison confinement is completed.
Horton was found guilty of the first-degree charge and a second-degree count of criminal sexual conduct by a Chippewa County jury in August. He was found not guilty on a second-degree charge alleging previous, ongoing criminal sexual conduct.
Supporters of Horton, including his spouse -- who is also the mother of the girl -- and other family members, picketed outside the Yellow Medicine County Courthouse on Aug. 14 protesting his conviction. Horton's attorney filed motions seeking a new trial or an acquittal in the case. Knutsen denied the motions in an Aug. 28 order.
Chippewa County Attorney David Gilbertson said he argued that Horton receive the "top of the box" sentence of 187 months, which would be the maximum allowed under the state sentencing guidelines. The range under the guidelines is 144 to 187 months.
Horton was also sentenced on four additional felony charges in Chippewa County and Swift County cases. He was sentenced to 27, 25, 22 and 17 months in prison on three counts of motor vehicle theft and theft, for incidents that occurred in June. All of the sentences are to be served concurrently, or simultaneously, with the criminal sexual conduct sentence. He was also ordered to pay $2,000 in fines and restitution, which remains open in the Swift County cases.
Tribune staff writer Tom Cherveny contributed to this report.