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St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a Rochester man's 12-year prison sentence for a sexual assault in 2019.

30-year-old Xanth Wilkins entered into a plea agreement and admitted to a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in exchange for the dismissal of a second count of the same crime. He was accused of choking and raping a woman after they met each other at a local bar and she agreed to accompany him to his residence.

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The victim told Rochester police that she and Wilkins began having consensual sexual contact but he then began choking her to the point that she could not breathe. The court record concerning the incident indicates the woman told investigators she tried to kick him away, but could not, and he sexually assaulted her. She also stated that she thought "if she lost consciousness, she would not make it out of Wilkins's house alive.

Through his appeal, Wilkins tried to argue that the judge in the case erred when he denied his request for a downward departure from state sentencing guidelines. A pre-sentence investigation conducted after Wilkins's guilty plea recommended the judge follow state guidelines and impose the 144-month prison term.

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