Man gets jail time, probation for burglary and assault

By Janice Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A Dodge Center man has been ordered to serve six months in jail, then spend 20 years on probation in connection with a pair of crimes committed with his brother. One was a racially motivated assault on another man in January.

Judge Joseph Wieners told Nathan Sean Espenson, 22, on Thursday that he also is jointly responsible for restitution totaling $2,372 to the victim of the bias assault.

In June, Espenson’s brother, Brent, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree assault with a knife and gross misdemeanor fourth-degree assault motivated by bias.


On Thursday, prosecutor Eric Woodford told the judge that Brent Espenson’s sentence was dictated partially because of his past criminal history.

Nathan Espenson pleaded guilty in October to one count of first-degree burglary of an occupied dwelling and one gross misdemeanor count of fourth-degree assault motivated by bias.

Both offenses occurred Jan. 24. The brothers were accused of assaulting a woman at her Rochester apartment. After leaving her residence, authorities say, the brothers were involved in the bias-motivated assault of a 31-year-old black man.

Wieners put Nathan Espenson on probation for 20 years on the burglary conviction and for two years on the bias assault. He is to serve 180 days in jail, to run concurrently with a sentence he is already serving on a Dodge County conviction. Espenson will be able to serve time in the Steele County jail with work-release privileges. He is to write letters of apology to both victims and attend a victim awareness class. He also must do 40 hours of community work service.

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