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Willmar, Minn., man gets 36 years in prison for year-long sexual abuse of young girl

Andres Rasmussen

WILLMAR -- Andres Sylvester Rasmussen, 22, of Willmar, was sentenced this afternoon to 36 years in prison, plus a lifetime of conditional release, and a total of $3,000 in fines on three felony charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for repeated sexual contact with a young girl.

Before handing down the sentence in Kandiyohi County District Court, District Judge David L. Mennis said that concurrent, or simultaneous, sentences would not address the behavior Rasmussen exhibited in the case.

Before he was sentenced, Rasmussen tearfully asked for mercy and continued to deny that he was the person who sexually assaulted the now 16-year-old girl more than 100 times over a period of about one year.

"You've got the wrong guy," Rasmussen said as he stood to address the judge in a blue county jail jumpsuit. "Please have mercy on me and my family. That's all I ask."

Mennis noted that a jury had convicted Rasmussen, based on compelling testimony by the victim about multiple instances of sexual assault, during the May trial.

Rasmussen was sentenced to three 144-month, or 12-year, sentences, to be served consecutively, or one after the other is completed. He was also ordered to register as a predatory offender and was given credit for 170 days already served in jail.

Mennis had the option of sentencing Rasmussen to as little as 25½ years in prison, based on the lowest guideline sentence in the state's sentencing guidelines. The recommendation by Kandiyohi County Community Corrections was a 360-month sentence, 30 years in prison.

County Attorney Jenna Fischer said she was asking for the maximum sentence because that's what the victim and her family wanted in the case.

The victim and her family were not in the courtroom at the sentencing, but their victim impact statements were read into the record by an advocate.

"I was taken advantage of and used for his own pleasure," the girl wrote in her statement. "He took my childhood and my womanhood from me."

The charges against Rasmussen were first filed last October and then amended to add three more first-degree counts in December. The case came to law enforcement attention after the girl reported that she had been having sexual relations with Rasmussen since September 2010.

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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