Jesse Hedlund, Minnesota Department of Corrections

A New Ulm man who abused and sexually assaulted four children in his care was sentenced to prison last month. Jesse Craig Hedlund, 42, was sentenced to 275 months – nearly 23 years – in prison on November 29 in Brown County Court.

In January, Hedlund and Alisha Miller, the children’s mother, were each charged with four felony counts of 3rd-degree assault.  The couple was accused of inflicting extreme punishments on Miller’s children, including forcing one of the children to keep soap in their mouth for 13 hours.

In February, Hedlund was accused of sexually molesting the children, and charged with ten counts of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Hedlund pled guilty to two counts of 3rd-degree assault and one count each of 1st and 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct.  Each count involved a different victim.  His remaining charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

District Court Judge Judge Robert Docherty imposed a 172-month prison sentence for the 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct charge, with credit for 282 days already served in jail.  Hedlund received a 79-month sentence at the St. Cloud Correctional Facility for the 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct charge.  He was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for each of the two counts of 3rd-degree assault – past pattern of child abuse.

Docherty ordered Hedlund’s sentences on each count to be served consecutively, so he will serve his sentence on each count back-to-back.

Inmates in Minnesota with good behavior serve two-thirds of their sentence behind bars with the final third spent on supervised release.  That, along with Hedlund’s jail credit means he’ll spend nearly 15 years in prison.