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Willmar, Minn., man gets 12 years for child molestation

 WILLMAR — Juan Raul Cardenas, 38, of Willmar, was sentenced to 12 years in prison Thursday for repeatedly molesting a young girl at a Willmar residence.

Cardenas was convicted of two counts of second-degree and two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct after a court trial before Judge Stephanie Beckman in Kandiyohi County District Court.

According to Beckman’s conviction order, the girl, who is now 15, testified that the abuse happened when she was 11 to 12 years ago at a Willmar residence. She told an adult about the abuse in July 2012.

Court records indicated that Cardenas had admitted to sexually abusing the girl to a clergy member and to a Willmar Police Department detective, but denied making the statements when he took the stand during his trial.

Beckman said Cardenas must serve 10 years of his sentence before he is eligible for a conditional release from prison.

He was given credit for 41 days already served in jail.

In addition to the 12-year sentence, Cardenas was fined $1,500. The fine and court fees will be paid from his prison earnings. He will be required to submit a DNA sample and register as a predatory offender.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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