A 37-year-old Owatonna man was sentenced to 12 years in prison for Criminal Sexual Conduct in the 1st Degree on Monday. James Vierling was convicted, after a jury trial in July of this year. Vierling will serve at least 8 years of his sentence, and be on probation for 10 years following his release. Judge Bueltel also imposed a $500 fine and court costs.

The charges and conviction come from an offense that happened in 2005-2007 involving a child under the age of 13, however, police only learned about the accusations in 2015, when the victim came forward. Vierling was charged in January of 2017 and convicted this year.

Since the offense happened so many years ago, I wanted to know what the statute of limitations is on these types of offenses, if there are any. This is what I found:

"Criminal sexual conduct, first-degree -- What is the statute of limitations for this crime? If victim was under 18 at the time of commission of the offense, either nine years after commission of the offense or within three years after the offense was reported to law enforcement authorities, whichever is later; or 1. If the victim is 18 or over, prosecution must commence within nine years after the commission of the offense; or 2. 3. If DNA evidence was collected and preserved, prosecution may commence at any time. Statutory citation(s): 1. Citation for the crime: Minn. Stat. § 609.342. 2. Citation for the statute of limitations: Minn. Stat. § 628.26."

 

The young girl who was abused by Vierling is now an adult, and there was a victim's impact statement read to the court. For more on that story, you can check here. The original story, from March of 2017 is here.

Courtesy MN Department of Corrections