Hastings man sentenced to 12 years prison for sexual conductArea News
-- A 60-year-old Hastings man, Steven James Rother, will serve a 12-year and a 3-year term concurrently for his guilty pleas to two criminal sex conduct charges.
By: Jane Lightbourn , Pierce County Herald
A 60-year-old Hastings man, Steven James Rother, will serve a 12-year and a 3-year term concurrently for his guilty pleas to two criminal sex conduct charges. On Monday, May 7, Dakota County District Court Judge Michael Sovis sentenced Rother to prison and set other conditions at a hearing.
Rother was taken into custody and has since been transported to the Minnesota Correctional Facility at St. Cloud to serve his sentence.
Rother was charged in October after two children ages 10 and 13 reported to Dakota County deputies that he had touched them inappropriately. One reported the abuse began in 2009 and had occurred at several residences, including Rother’s. The second victim told the deputies the abuse had begun when she was 8 and continued for three years before it stopped. It had begun again during the summer of 2011.
In his sentencing order, Sovis also ordered Rother to pay restitution (yet to be determined), to have no contact with the victims, supply a DNA sample and register as a predatory offender.
According to the order, Rother could be released conditionally after 10 years .
When Rother was first interviewed by deputies last October, he initially denied any wrongdoing. Eventually, he admitted to sexually touching both victims. He pleaded guilty to the charges in February.
The Dakota County Sheriff’s office was alerted about the possible abuse Sept. 17 by an individual who said the 10-year-old had reported inappropriate touching to another adult. The individual alleged to have done the inappropriate touching was Rother. The individual said the 10-year-old no longer had contact with Rother.
The 10-year-old told an adult that that Rother was “very inappropriate,” and described several events that occurred. She said similar abuse had occurred to the 13-year-old year child.
Initially, the 13-year-old denied to the deputies that any inappropriate touching had occurred, but in a second interview, she said that the abuse had begun when she was 8 and continued for three years. It then stopped, but began again during the summer of 2011.
When asked how many times the alleged incidents occurred, the 13-year-old responded, “50.”
Jane Lightbourn is a staff writer for the Hastings Star Gazette.