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Kerkhoven, Minn., man heading back to prison

WILLMAR -- Edward Alan Ruchti, 33, of Kerkhoven, was sentenced Wednesday to 91 months in prison on a first-degree assault charge dating back to March 2002.

A stay of execution keeping Ruchti on probation instead of in prison was revoked by District Judge Donald M. Spilseth in Kandiyohi County District Court. Ruchti violated the conditions of his probation by contacting a woman he was specifically advised by his sex offender treatment counselors and his probation officer to not have contact with and for possessing pornography.

According to County Attorney Jenna Fischer, Ruchti will receive more than 400 days of credit for time served. He will ultimately serve about four years in prison.

Ruchti was originally sentenced in May 2003 to 91 months in prison, which was stayed, and placed on 18 years of probation for the March 2002 first-degree assault that nearly killed his then-wife.

According to a criminal complaint and other court records, Ruchti's then-wife, Melissa, was hospitalized for five days with serious internal injuries after Ruchti tied her up and sexually assaulted her.

At the sentencing, Melissa Ruchti provided an affidavit that stated the activities in which she was injured were consensual, and her husband's prison sentence was stayed.

In July 2009, Ruchti was sentenced to 21 months in prison for assaulting and strangling a woman in a separate domestic incident that occurred in February of the same year. Upon his release from prison, he was placed on intensive supervised release from August 2010 to March 2011. Soon after the supervised release period ended, Ruchti was terminated from a sex offender program for failing to show up and completing homework.

He was then ordered to serve 180 days in jail on that probation violation and allowed to choose which sex offender treatment program he would attend to complete the requirements of his psycho-sexual evaluation.

He was again arrested May 15 of this year after a probation violation report by 6W Community Corrections indicated that he had allegedly violated the conditions set by his sex offender treatment counselors and his probation. The woman reported that Ruchti left her multiple voicemail messages, sent her text messages and a letter in the mail and left flowers and a handwritten note on her doorstep during the night of May 13-14.

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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