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Danube man pleads guilty in molestation case

WILLMAR -- Paul Charles Simons, 58, of Danube, pleaded guilty Monday to two second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges for sexual contact with two pre-teen girls.

WILLMAR -- Paul Charles Simons, 58, of Danube, pleaded guilty Monday to two second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges for sexual contact with two pre-teen girls.

As part of a plea agreement entered in Kandiyohi County District Court, seven additional criminal sexual conduct charges will be dismissed. Two of those charges are first-degree counts and the rest are second-degree offenses. As part of the agreement, Simons will be sentenced according to the state sentencing guidelines, and he agrees to pay restitution for the girls' counseling needs.

The charges were filed after a 16-year-old girl reported information of the abuse, which happened between 1999 and 2006 while the girls were living or visiting at Simons' Willmar home. Willmar police investigated and interviewed the girls, now 15 and 17, who told authorities that Simons forced the girls to perform various sexual acts, including oral sex and masturbation, and forcibly raped one of the girls on several occasions.

The plea hearing included Simons' admission to sex acts with the girls while they were between the ages of 7 and 12 years old. Judge Kathryn Smith ordered Simons to comply with a pre-sentencing investigation.

The matter had been scheduled for a four-day jury trial beginning Jan. 29. Sentencing has been set for Feb. 29.

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