New London man found guilty of molestation of three sisters receives more than four years in prison
WILLMAR -- A New London man found guilty of sexually molesting three sisters in the 1990s was sentenced Monday to more than four years in prison. Patrick Harold Smith Sr. was convicted by a jury Sept. 21 of four felony charges of criminal sexual ...
WILLMAR -- A New London man found guilty of sexually molesting three sisters in the 1990s was sentenced Monday to more than four years in prison.
Patrick Harold Smith Sr. was convicted by a jury Sept. 21 of four felony charges of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree. Smith faced six felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
The convictions were temporarily vacated by Judge Donald M. Spilseth Oct. 6 in a post-trial court order after questions were raised about some of the convictions overlapping.
"(Smith) cannot be convicted or punished for more than one offense arising from the same behavioral incident," Spilseth said in the Oct. 6 order.
Under Minnesota law, a person can only be punished once for a single incident. In Smith's case, time periods in several of the charges overlapped. Because of this, Spilseth vacated the convictions to allow more time for the charges to be examined.
In a court document dated Nov. 27, Spilseth allowed two of the original four convictions to stand. Smith was acquitted of the remaining two charges to avoid multiple punishments for a single act.
On Monday, Smith was sentenced to 54 months in prison for one of the sexual conduct charges and 44 months in prison for the other. The prison sentences are to be served concurrently. Spilseth also fined Smith $500 for each charge.
Charges were originally filed against Smith in August 2005 after the girls came forward to authorities. Now 26, 22 and 20, all three reported that they were abused between the ages of 7 and 12.
According to the criminal complaint, Smith allegedly sat the girls on his lap and would open-mouth kiss them and touch them. Two of the sisters also informed authorities that Smith made them touch his penis.
All of the occurrences allegedly happened when Smith and the sisters were alone. However, none of the sisters knew of the abuse the others had suffered until all were adults.