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Court denies appeal of New London, Minn., man in sex crime

WILLMAR -- The State Appeals Court has found no merit in the argument that a 41-year-old New London man sentenced to prison on criminal sexual conduct charges should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea a second time.

In an unpublished opinion released Tuesday, the appeals court affirmed the conviction of Craig Allan Hargreaves, who is serving a 143-month prison sentence for molesting a 12-year-old boy in the summer of 2007.

Hargreaves had argued that District Judge David L. Mennis failed to exercise discretion in considering Hargreaves' motion to withdraw his guilty plea at his May 2010 sentencing hearing. Hargreaves first appeared on four sets of charges between April and June 2009, pleaded guilty to two criminal sexual conduct charges and in September 2009, withdrew those pleas and discharged his attorney. In April 2010, he pleaded guilty to two criminal sexual conduct charges, but at the sentencing hearing, asked to discharge his attorney, his second public defender. Mennis informed Hargreaves that he wouldn't be appointed a third public attorney.

Hargreaves made a verbal motion to withdraw his plea, which Mennis denied, the decision notes. The defendant then said he wanted to retain his attorney and the judge proceeded with sentencing while Hargreaves interrupted with profanities and the statement, "You're prejudiced."

According to the Department of Corrections website, Hargreaves is in the Minnesota Correction Facility at Faribault and his anticipated release date from prison is March 2017.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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