A jury found a man guilty of numerous counts of criminal sexual conduct in central Minnesota Wednesday. The jury returned guilty verdicts on 12 counts of criminal sexual conduct—six each of first-degree and second-degree offenses. Prosecutors in the case are seeking what is known as an upward departure from the sentencing guidelines. The issues that may be involved in sentencing under Minnesota law can be complex, and a person has the right to defend against a departure from the guidelines.
In general, state statues provide a maximum statutory sentence that may be imposed upon conviction. But, Minnesota also uses of system of guidelines that provide a presumptive range for the judge to impose based upon a number of factors, including (but not limited to) the severity of the offense and a person’s criminal history. In some cases, prosecutors may decide to depart from a presumptive sentence.