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Sentencing delayed for Hastings man convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct

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When 41-year-old Michael Frederick Schmidt of Hastings was convicted in September of first-degree criminal sexual conduct of a nine-month old, he was ordered to undergo a presentence investigation and a psychological investigation.

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That order is still to be completed. At Monday's sentencing hearing, Schmidt's attorney, who he had apparently fired, then rehired, indicated that Judge Joseph Carter's order had not been fulfilled.

Carter set a new sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 9, in Dakota County District Court, and again ordered Schmidt to complete the presentence investigation and evaluation, telling him they were very important in determining the disposition of the case.

A Dakota County jury on Sept. 8 convicted Schmidt on the charge.

Following the rendering of the guilty verdict, the jury also found that aggravating factors (age of victim, extent of injuries) existed to justify an upward departure from Minnesota sentencing guidelines. The guidelines call for a prison sentence of up to 30 years and/or a fine of between $12,000 and $40,000.

At that time Schmidt was taken into custody and remains lodged in the Dakota County Jail until the sentencing. Throughout out the jury trial Schmidt said he was innocent of the charge.

Hastings Police had charged Schmidt after an April 24 incident in which the girl had been brought to the emergency room at Regina Medical Center, Hastings. Due to the severity of the injuries, the girl was transported by ambulance to Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Where her injuries were surgically repaired.

In a statement to hospital personnel and police, Schmidt said he and his wife had been babysitting the girl at their home in Hastings. He said her injuries occurred when he was changing her diaper. When she began to roll off a couch, Schmidt said he grabbed at the girl to keep her from falling. He said a hangnail caused the injuries to her body.

Medical personnel at the hospital said that the nature and extent of the jury "is highly inconsistent with Schmidt's explanation of how it was caused."

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