Rochester man faces prison for sexual assaults

By Matthew Stolle

A 28-year-old Rochester man who pleaded guilty to having sexual contact with two 12-year-old girls was sentenced Monday in Olmsted County District Court to 12 years in prison.

Scott Michael Carlson, 1628 Marion Road S.E., Lot 80, will be required to serve at least eight years of the sentence behind bars before becoming eligible for supervised release.

Carlson was accused of sexually assaulting three girls, but charges involving one of the girls were dropped in exchange for guilty pleas to first-degree and third-degree criminal sexual conduct.


In one of the crimes for which he pleaded guilty, a girl said she was at Carlson's home when he sexually touched her. She said he stopped when she told him to.

Another girl said she was assaulted by Carlson at his trailer home after she refused to have sex with him. She said she was kept there against her will and that the assault lasted for more than an hour.

After the charges were filed against Carlson, a third girl came forward and accused Carlson of repeatedly sexually assaulting her. Charges stemming from that allegation were eventually dropped in the plea bargain.

All three girls described to the court how their lives had been damaged by the assaults. One girl said she was now constantly getting into trouble, was prone to depression, was missing school frequently and had tried to commit suicide.

Carlson's attorney, Tina Liebling, tried unsuccessfully to persuade Judge Jodi Williamson to sentence Carlson to less than the state guideline, which calls for a 12-year minimum sentence. In particular, she took issue with a psychological evaluation that described a pattern of violence in Carlson's behavior, as well as its recommendation that he receive treatment in a secure facility.

Liebling noted that during one of the incidents, Carlson stopped touching the girl when she asked him to stop, and that he did not use force or intimidation. She said Carlson was amenable to treatment in an outpatient setting and had abided by strict rules set down by the court since posting bond.

Senior Assistant Olmsted County Attorney Scott Buhler, however, disputed Liebling's arguments, saying that she presented no independent evaluation of her own to dispute the report's findings and was attempting to supplant an expert's opinion with her own.

Buhler also cited aggravating circumstances in the cases that warranted the minimum sentence, including the girls' ages -- all three were younger than 13 -- and the fact that two of them were virtually strangers to Carlson. He also said Carlson used death threats to try to get the girls to remain silent about the crimes and had shown no remorse for his actions.


Carlson must also register as a sex offender and provide a DNA sample.

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