St. James man sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting girl

A St. James man was sentenced to prison Wednesday for sexually assaulting a girl known to him.

Benjamin John Heldt, 36, pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct in a plea deal signed in January.  Two additional charges of the same were dropped as part of the plea deal.  Heldt will receive credit for 23 days already served in jail.

Heldt will also face a ten-year conditional release period after he completes his sentence.  Blue Earth County District Court Judge Kurt Johnson ordered Heldt to register as a sex offender for at least ten years after his release.

Heldt was charged in June 2020 after a teen victim told police he had been molesting her for years, starting when she was between the ages of five and seven.

Court documents say Heldt admitted to the abuse.


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