Court Rejects Rochester Man’s Appeal in Child Sex Assault Case
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a Rochester man's convictions on first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
Court records indicate 38-year-old Mark Mitchell pleaded guilty to the charges in August of last year but later filed an appeal that argued the judge in the case abused their discretion by giving him a prison term that was twice the length of the presumptive sentence for the crime. State Sentencing Guidelines recommend a 144-month prison term and Mitchell was sentenced to 288 months for one of the convictions and a concurrent sentence of 216 months in prison for the other conviction.
In upholding the 288-month prison term, the state appeals court found the double upward departure from state guidelines was justified in the case because of the nature of his crimes, which involved multiple incidents of sexual assault involving a person under the age of 13. When the abuse was reported in February 2020, the victim was eight years old.