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Willmar man gets stayed prison, long probation for burglary

WILLMAR — Ricardo Morales, 21, of Willmar, was sentenced Wednesday to 21 months in prison, which was stayed, 20 years of probation, 180 days in jail and a $1,500 fine on charge of a first-degree burglary for entering a northwest Willmar apartment in January.

As part of his sentence handed down by Judge David Mennis in Kandiyohi County District Court, Morales was also ordered to register as a predatory offender.

As part of a previous plea agreement, three additional felony charges for first-degree burglary and third-degree criminal sexual conduct were dismissed.

The charges were filed after Jan. 24, when a woman reported that someone had broken into her apartment on the northwest side of the city, stolen her television, jewelry and cash and had assaulted another woman who was staying at the apartment.

The women had been drinking at a party the previous evening and a sober male friend had driven them home and walked them to their door, the woman reported. She said a man, later identified as Morales, had knocked on their door 15 minutes later and asked to come in. They denied him and closed the door. One of the women took a photo of Morales and the other woman said she had locked the door to the apartment after closing it.

Later that night, around 3:30 a.m. the women were awakened to find a man in the apartment, attempting to pull clothing off of one of the women and sexually assaulting her.

The women yelled at the man, who ran away. The next morning the woman noticed the television and other items were missing. They said the man they suspected, Morales, lived in the next building.

The officer went to Morales’s apartment and asked him about the television, which was located in a closet. Morales also admitted to taking the television and other items from the women’s apartment.

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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