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Rother pleads guilty to criminal sex conduct charges

A 60-year-old Hastings man, Steven James Rother, pleaded guilty to two criminal sex conduct charges (first- and second-degree) in Dakota County District Court last week. Judge Michael Sovis set sentencing for May 7.

Rother was charged in October after two children ages 10 and 13 reported to Dakota County deputies that he had touched them inappropriately. One reported the abuse began in 2009 and had occurred at several residences. The second victim told the deputies the abuse had begun when she was 8 and continued for three years before it stopped. It had begun again during the summer of 2011.

In an interview with deputies, Rother initially denied any wrongdoing. Eventually, he admitted to sexually touching both victims.

Sovis ordered a pre-sentence investigation, and ordered Rother to not leave Minnesota, to have no contact with the victims, remain law abiding and keep the court advised of his current address.