Becker County District Court File No. 03-CR-11-1745
Lori Swanson, Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota; and Michael Fritz, Becker County Attorney, Tammy Merkins, Assistant County Attorney, Detroit Lakes, Minnesota (for respondent)
David W. Merchant, Chief Appellate Public Defender, Cathryn Middlebrook, Assistant Public Defender, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Connolly, Presiding Judge; Larkin, Judge; and Cleary, Judge.
Appellant challenges his sentence, arguing that the district court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for a downward durational departure. Because we see no abuse of discretion, we affirm.
In May 2012, appellant David King pleaded guilty to a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, admitting that he forced the victim into her bedroom, engaged in intercourse against the victim's will, and held the victim down during the assault. The victim suffered a bruise on her wrist and pain in her groin and leg.
The guideline sentence range for this severity-level-A offense and appellant's criminal-history score of six was 306 to 360 months in prison. In exchange for appellant's guilty plea, respondent State of Minnesota agreed to seek no more than the minimum presumptive sentence, 306 months in prison.
Appellant moved for a downward durational departure on the grounds of: (1) his mental impairment due to lack of medication, (2) his prior history of property crimes rather than violent crimes, (3) the lack of significant injury to the victim, and (4) his remorse. His motion was denied, and he was sentenced to 306 months in prison.
He argues that the denial of his motion was an abuse of discretion.
A district court has broad discretion to depart from the presumptive sentence under the sentencing guidelines. State v. Gassler, 505 N.W.2d 62, 69 (Minn. 1993). A district court must order the presumptive sentence provided in the sentencing guidelines unless the case involves "substantial and compelling circumstances" that warrant a downward departure. State v. Kindem, 313 N.W.2d 6, 7 (Minn. 1981). Only in a "rare" case ...