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Officer who sexually assaulted 3 minors gets 90 days and probation

NEW ULM — After nearly three hours in Brown County District Court Thursday, former New Ulm Police investigator Eric Gramentz received a stay of execution on a prison sentence in a criminal sexual conduct case.


Eric Gramentz
Eric Gramentz

Gramentz, 43, was ordered to pay restitution, serve 90 days in jail, and serve up to 25 years probation with the Minnesota Department of Corrections He is registered for life as a predatory sex offender, is subject to lifetime supervision requirements, andmust abide by psychosexual evaluations, among other conditions.


Gramentz pleaded guilty to a charge of1st-degree felony criminal sexual conduct, victim under 16, significant relationship, multiple acts over time; and two counts of 2nd-degree felony criminal sexual conduct, significant relationship, victim under 16 Jan. 30. He was credited with serving 382 days.


The first two charges carried recommended sentences of 12 years in prison each and 10 years for third count.


“You deserve to be in prison. Sentences run concurrently. If you blow it, you’re going to prison for a long time,” said Judge Allison Krehbiel.

Mankato defense attorney Patrick Casey said he was not surprised by the sentence.


“When I took on this case, this is the result I thought the result would be,” said Casey. “I’ve handled hundreds of criminal sexual conduct cases. It’s very rare circumstances when someone comes in and takes responsibility for their actions, cooperates with law enforcement and pleads to the complaint. If he lied or tried to blame the victims, there would have been a different result.”

Gramentz spoke prior to the sentencing.


“I’m sorry for what I did did. Please forgive me,” said Gramentz. “Pat, you are the strongest woman I know. I’m sorry for my actions and the distrust. I ask you to support my family before me.”

Casey said Gramentz pled guilty to all three charges.


“It’s very clear to me what he did, he compartmentalized the situation. A number of people (witnesses) said he was genuinely remorseful,” said Casey. “I think a downward (sentencing) departure is right.”

Assistant Scott County Attorney Debra Lund, who handled the case to avoid a conflict of interest, said police officers shouldn’t get special treatment.


“Police officers are heroes. They should be seen as someone you go to for help,” said Lund. “Eric Gramentz wasn’t remorseful. He was arrested about four years after sexual assaults began. He should be sentenced according to guidelines.”

A number of Gramentz’ family members testified as witnesses on his behalf, saying he showed genuine remorse and deserved a second chance.


According to court documents, Brown County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Andrew Konechne learned on April 4, 2022 of a criminal sexual conduct report involving Gramentz. The day before, a victim told an adult that Gramentz sexually touched her about four years earlier. The adult asked Gramentz about the incident, telling him it needed to be reported. Gramentz agreed to turn himself in to law enforcement.


Gramentz admitted to touching the girl.


On April 5, 2022, Konechne and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension Special Agent Sam McGinnis watched an interview with the girl at the Mankato Child and Family Advocacy Center in which she said Gramentz touched her “private parts” more than once.


In addition, the girl said Gramentz told her not to tell anyone, so she didn’t tell anyone at the time.


Brown County Attorney Chuck Hanson asked Scott County Attorney Ron Hocevar to act as special prosecutor in the case, which he agreed to do.


Originally published by New Ulm Journal


 

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