Avoids trial – and sex offender registration
BALSAM LAKE – More than two years after the being charged with seven felony counts that included repeated sexual assault of the same child, as well as sexploitation and sexual contact, Virgil Hansen pleaded guilty to three lesser child abuse charges to avoid a trial.
Hansen, 67, Milltown, appeared in Polk County Circuit Court before Judge Scott Needham on Weds., Nov. 8, where he pleaded guilty to three felony charges, including two charges of child abuse – causing reckless harm, and another lone charge of causing mental harm to a child.
He stood accused of a battery of sexual assault allegations involving an underage male, whom he allegedly bound, assaulted, and even hung him from the rafters of his Milltown farm over almost two years, when the boy was barely a teen – who kept quiet in exchange for money and being able to drive Hansens’ truck.
As part of the plea, Hansen avoided having to register as a sex offender, and will have the four other sexual charges dismissed, yet he still faces almost 20 years in prison and nearly $50,000 in fines.
Judge Needham will sentence Hansen on Jan. 29 after a pre-sentence investigation. He also faces restitution costs for a variety of mental health and counseling treatment costs inflicted on the victim, whose family was in the courtroom and apparently agreed to the plea deal to avoid a jury trial, which was originally scheduled to run this week.
Hansen remains free until sentencing on a cash bond.
Read the full account of the case in next weeks’ Inter-County Leader, which will include background on the plea hearing, background on the charges, what’ he faces in penalties and other aspects of the Hansen case.