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Zumhofe sentenced to 25 years for molestation

WILLMAR — Eugene Otto Zumhofe, 63, of Cyrus, was sentenced Thursday to more than 25 years in prison for molesting a close female relative over a period of years.

District Judge David Mennis handed down the sentences of a total of 310 months in prison on two first-degree and two third-degree counts of criminal sexual conduct, and ordered the sentences be served consecutively, starting the second, third and fourth terms only after the previous sentence is completed.

As part of the sentence in Kandiyohi County District Court, Mennis also ordered Zumhofe to serve a 10-year conditional release period, pay $200 in fines and register as a predatory offender.

Zumhofe’s first court appearance on a felony charge of escape from custody, which had been scheduled with the sentence, was delayed until today. The allegations related to the escape charge include that Zumhofe ran from corrections officers and sheriff’s deputies March 5 after the guilty verdict on a total of 12 criminal sexual conduct charges was read during his jury trial.

According to that complaint, after the verdicts were read, Mennis ordered that Zumhofe be taken into custody, but Zumhofe’s attorney, Carter Greiner, asked to meet with his client in a conference room. While Zumhofe was being escorted through the hallway, he attempted to run, but was tackled and subdued by Corrections Officer Eugene Borka and Sheriff’s Office Capt. Greg Stehn.

The sentences for the criminal sexual conduct convictions, of 115, 91, 52 and 52 months in prison, followed the recommendations of a presentence investigation prepared by Kandiyohi County Corrections.

Assistant County Attorney Aaron Welch, one of the prosecutors in the case, asked the judge to double the sentence to 620 months because Mennis had found that there were aggravating factors, including cruelty and multiple forms of sexual contact with the woman. Zumhofe also had two prior convictions for criminal sexual conduct in 1988 and 1989.

“Mr. Zumhofe shows no remorse for his actions, even if he finally admitted (in the presentence investigation) that they happened,” Welch said. “This is an extreme sentence, but Mr. Zumhofe’s actions can be described as nothing less than extreme.”

Greiner argued that his client wants to submit to treatment and get help, suggesting stayed prison time and probation. “Mr. Zumhofe is very, very ashamed,” Greiner said. “It’s not easy to come clean.”

If the judge couldn’t hand down such a sentence, Greiner argued for the sentence recommended in the corrections report.

“He will be 80 years old when he gets out,” Greiner argued. “That’s punitive enough.”

Zumhofe did not give a statement during the hearing, declining the opportunity to speak. He was handcuffed and shackled throughout the sentencing.

Zumhofe is a former pro wrestler known as “Buck Rock ‘N’ Roll Zumhofe.”

The woman reported the abuse after seeking therapy and medical care in 2012. She testified during the trial that there were hundreds of acts of sexual abuse over a period of years from 1999 to 2011, starting when she was 15 years old.

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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