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Marshall man pleads guilty to sex with 15-year-old

WILLMAR -- A Marshall man has pleaded guilty to a criminal sexual conduct charge for having intercourse with a 15-year-old girl in Willmar. Mathew Brian Soft, 24, of Marshall, entered the guilty plea Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. As...

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Emergency personnel were on the scene May 3 when the school bus crashed north of Bemidji, Minn. (Submitted photo)

WILLMAR - A Marshall man has pleaded guilty to a criminal sexual conduct charge for having intercourse with a 15-year-old girl in Willmar.

Mathew Brian Soft, 24, of Marshall, entered the guilty plea Tuesday in Kandiyohi County District Court. As a condition of his guilty plea, and if the judge accepts it, the prosecutor agreed to recommend a stay of adjudication. His sentencing was set for June 8.

According to the court file, Soft and a Willmar girl met online in summer 2015 and then eventually met in person. She believed him to be about 22 and knew him by an alias "Bryan Garcia." They developed a relationship and engaged in kissing and "making out" in his car and in isolated places around Kandiyohi County.

The girl reported in November 2016 that they had intercourse sometime in late July or August 2016.

According to the criminal complaint, Soft was interviewed by Willmar police later in November. He allegedly admitted that he and the girl had a romantic relationship that had led to sexual intercourse on a trail near Robbins Island Park in Willmar.

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Soft told authorities that he had never asked the girl her age or told her his age.

Related Topics: MARSHALLCRIME
In 42 years in the newspaper industry, Linda Vanderwerf has worked at several daily newspapers in Minnesota, including the Mesabi Daily News, now called the Mesabi Tribune in Virginia. Previously, she worked for the Las Cruces Sun-News in New Mexico and the Rapid City Journal in the Black Hills of South Dakota. She has been a reporter at the West Central Tribune for nearly 27 years.

Vanderwerf can be reached at email: lvanderwerf@wctrib.com or phone 320-214-4340
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