A former girls soccer coach who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting players was sentenced Monday to eight years in state prison.
Dustin Gary Beckman, 33, was sentenced in Olmsted County District Court by Judge Joseph Chase to 96 months in state prison. Beckman pleaded guilty in October 2020 to a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. He is required to serve two-thirds of that sentence in prison. He will be placed on conditional release for up to 10 years following his prison sentence, and must register as a predatory offender for 10 years.
Beckman coached the girls team at Dover-Eyota, as well as girls and women's soccer at Winona High School, Winona State University, Rochester Community and Technical College, and with Rochester Youth Soccer.
In that case, Beckman admitted to having sexual contact with a player from Rochester Youth Soccer for more than a year between July 2016 and December 2017. The sexual contact began before the girl turned 16.
The Post Bulletin does not generally identify victims of sexual assault.
The girl, now a young woman, spoke at the sentencing hearing, describing the impact Beckman's actions had on her life. Now 20, she told the court she was 14 the first time he messaged her on social media. She was out sick from practice, and she said it made her feel cared for and special.
In the years that followed, she said she began spending time at his apartment and things slowly turned sexual, a secret she said ate away at her.
"It wasn't something that just happened," the young woman said. "This was planned."
She also testified about the emotional and mental toll the assaults have caused and continue to cause her. Her mother and father also spoke about the impact the assaults, committed by a man they trusted, had on their family.
"Knowing the monster is in front of you and you didn't see it, I live with the guilt," said the young woman's father. "I felt and I still feel like I kept her in front of the monster."
In a second case, Beckman entered an Alford plea to a charge of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. An Alford plea means that Beckman admitted there was enough evidence for a jury to find him guilty, but he is not admitting guilt.
In that case, Beckman admitted that a player would testify that while he worked as a coach for the girls team at Dover-Eyota High School, he touched a player's genital area while she was working out. The girl was under the age of 16.
Judge Chase handed down a 25-year stay of adjudication in that case. If Beckman successfully completes the conditions of that stay of adjudication, a conviction will not be entered on his record.
Now 16, the girl told the court she was not a victim — she is a survivor.
"I'm a survivor of everything that tried to kill me," she said.
Both spoke of the lasting impact Beckman's actions had on their love of soccer. The young woman, who once dreamed of playing collegiate soccer, no longer plays.
Neither Senior Assistant Olmsted County Attorney Brian Hagen nor Beckman's attorney, Richmond McCluer Jr., spoke following the statements. Beckman made brief remarks saying he had not written anything down but said "to say that I have no remorse is not true." He said he has spent the past year living in isolation, thinking about how he affected the lives of the families who spoke at his sentencing.
Before handing down the sentence, which was a downward departure from sentencing guidelines, Chase told the young women he was convinced they were warriors because if they weren't, they would not be in the courtroom "confronting this awful chapter in your life today."
Reflecting on what was in Beckman's pre-sentence investigation, Chase called some of the remarks Beckman made to the investigator stomach churning.
Remaining charges in both cases, as well as all of a third case charging Beckman with second-degree criminal sexual conduct and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, were dismissed at sentencing. Beckman was led out of the courtroom Monday afternoon in handcuffs.