A New Ulm police officer who was arrested Tuesday has been formally charged with sex crimes.
Eric Gramentz, 42, was charged Wednesday in Brown County Court with felony 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under the age of 13. The NUPD investigator has also been charged with felony-2nd degree criminal sexual conduct involving a victim with whom he had a significant relationship.
According to a criminal complaint, the victim told a trusted adult that Gramentz had inappropriately touched her several years prior when she was 11 or 12 years old. Gramentz agreed to turn himself in to police after the adult confronted him about the alleged abuse.
Gramentz told investigators that he had initially suggested the victim masturbate in order to relieve stomach pain, according to the complaint. Police say he admitted to touching the girl near her pubic bone while explaining the act.
The complaint says Gramentz admitted that he coached the victim through masturbation for about two months. Police say he also admitted to touching the victim under or over her clothing “more than once, but less than 15 times.”
During an interview with advocacy workers, the victim said Gramentz touched her over her clothing multiple times, and once attempted to penetrate her digitally. She also told investigators that she once woke up with Gramentz’s penis in her hand.
Gramentz told the victim not to tell anyone that he taught her to masturbate, according to the complaint.
Court documents say Gramentz initially suggest suggested masturbation to help the victim deal with stomach pain, but as time went on, it became about him because it was “risky,” and sexually “something different.”
The complaint says Gramentz told police he knew he needed to stop after the most recent incident, which he described as invading the girl’s privacy by putting his hand down her pants.
The Brown County Sheriff’s Office said in a media release Wednesday that Gramentz will be housed in the Waseca County Jail during the initial investigation to avoid any potential conflict of interest. The release says he will return to the Brown County Jail after his initial court appearance.