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Judge: 'You can spend the same time in prison as you imprisoned (her)'

Timothy Jay Griffin, 55, was sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for sexually assaulting a juvenile in her home over a number of years.

Timothy Griffin
Timothy Griffin
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ROCHESTER — A Hayfield man was sentenced in Olmsted County District Court Thursday May 26, 2022, to 160 months for sexually assaulting a child at her home more than five years ago.

Timothy Jay Griffin, 55, pleaded guilty in March 2022 to a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduc t. The incident occurred between November 2013 and November 2016, according to the criminal complaint. Griffin had faced a total of six charges after an amended criminal complaint was filed in March 2022, which added the sixth felony charge of criminal sexual conduct.

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"I don't really have any doubt that you'd be successful on probation," District Judge Pamela King told Griffin during sentencing Thursday. She added that while he's been co-operative with authorities it was only until he was "caught" that he decided to take action.

King sentenced Griffin to 160 months, despite the state sentencing guidelines calling for a sentence of 144 months.

"I'm doing this because it's about punishment and retribution," she said, later adding "You can spend the same time in prison you imprisoned (her)."

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With good behavior, Griffin will serve 10 years in prison and the remaining on supervised release. Following that, he will be on 10 years of supervised probation. He was credited with three days time served.

Griffin was taken into custody following the hearing.

Griffin's lawyer, Zachary Bauer, of Rochester, had argued for a 365 day jail sentence, telling King that Griffin had followed all pre-trial conditions and was likely to succeed on probation.

"Throughout this process, he has taken responsibility for his actions," Bauer said in court.

Senior Attorney for the Olmsted County Attorney's Office Joseph Rosholt had asked the court to sentence Griffin to 144 months.

"A just sentence in this case requires punishment and condemnation," he said in court.

The victim in the case, now 21, told the court through tears prior to sentencing that Griffin had manipulated her for years and describe the abuse she suffered at his hands. She asked the judge to sentence him to the maximum allowable prison time.

Griffin apologized to the woman in court in a prepared statement before being asked by King to address herself and not the victim in his statement.

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The court also heard statements from John Schmitt, a Department of Correction sex offender treatment counselor, who had been treating Griffin. Schmitt told the court that Griffin was less likely to re-offend and had been cooperative with ongoing treatment. Schmitt told the court that Griffin would be able to receive treatment while incarcerated, as well.

Chris Bauer, with Olmsted County Community Corrections, told the court that she was the author of Griffin's pre-sentence investigation and that Griffin scored low on areas that judge the likelihood to re-offend. She also told the court that she would recommend a prison sentence based on the length and seriousness of the abuse and the continued harm to the victim.

Olmsted County Sheriff's deputies took a report from a Rock Dell woman in December 2020. The woman reported that she had been sexually assaulted by Griffin when she was a child between the ages of 6 and 17 years old . The woman told an Olmsted County Sheriff's detective there were at least six incidents over the decade.

When interviewed by police later that day, Griffin admitted to at least four incidents, according to the amended criminal complaint.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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