No prison time for molester of child

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A 21-year-old Albert Lea man was sentenced to probation and sex offender treatment Monday for molesting a 7-year-old girl earlier this year.

Armando Mendez Jr.

Armando Mendez Jr. will not have to spend time in prison, however, unless he violates one of the conditions of his probation during the next 10 years. Then he faces three years.

Freeborn County District Court Judge Ross Leuning said the sentence followed the state’s sentencing guidelines, but he understands if people, including the victim’s family, find the sentence to not be severe enough.

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Leuning told Mendez it was his opportunity to prove he can remain safely in the community.

“You have a lot riding on this,” he said.

Mendez pleaded guilty in April to one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. Court documents state the conduct involved inappropriate touching of the girl in January in the basement of her home.

Mendez has been in jail ever since but was slated to be released Monday after the hearing. Because he does not have a place to live, he must call in to report to the Department of Corrections each weekday before 9 a.m.

Leuning ordered Mendez have no contact with minors under 18 unless otherwise approved.

The judge said Mendez is no longer able to possess or use a computer, cell phone or gaming system that has access to the Internet. He also must not use or possess any sexually explicit materials.

Leuning ordered Mendez remain at least five blocks away from any school, park or campground and register as a predatory offender.

He must also submit a DNA sample.