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Man found guilty of criminal sexual contact for molesting girl

WILLMAR — A 38-year-old Willmar man was found guilty Thursday of four counts of criminal sexual conduct for molesting a young girl at a Willmar residence.

Juan Paul Cardenas was ordered taken into custody and held until his April 4 sentencing date in the order issued by District Judge Stephanie Beckman.

Cardenas stood for a court trial on Jan. 30 in Kandiyohi County District Court, and then the attorneys filed briefs in the case, which Beckman took under advisement last week.

In her order, Beckman found that Cardenas was guilty of two counts of second-degree and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.  

The original complaint in the case was filed in August on the second-degree counts. The first-degree counts were added in January, after the girl told a therapist more about the sexual abuse, including that Cardenas had had sexual intercourse with her.

According to the findings in the order, the now 15-year-old girl testified that the abuse happened when she was 11 to 12 years old at a Willmar residence, that she told an adult about the abuse in July 2012.

The findings also included that Cardenas had admitted to sexually abusing the girl to a clergy member and a Willmar Police detective, but denied making the statements when he took the stand during the trial.

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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