Court of Appeals reverses, remands Gramentz sentence

Resentencing date to be set

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed and sent back an April 2023 Brown County District Court sentencing decision on former New Ulm Police investigator Eric Alan Gramentz Monday.

In January 2023, Gramentz pleaded guilty to first-degree felony criminal sexual conduct and two counts of second-degree felony criminal sexual conduct.

A pre-sentence investigation (PSI) recommended the district court impose the presumptive guidelines prison sentence for each count–144 months for count one, 150 months for count two and 119 months for count three.

Prison sentences for each count were stayed for 25 years probation. Gramentz was ordered to serve 90 days in jail and register for life as a predatory offender.

Scott County prosecutors appealed Judge Allison Krehbiel’s decision.

“Because the district court did not identify substantial and compelling reasons to depart from the presumptive prison sentence, we reverse and remand for resentencing,” read the Court of Appeals opinion.

“We express no opinion as to the appropriate sentence on remand,” read the Court of Appeals decision.

“On remand, the district court may exercise its discretion to reopen the record, consider the motion for sentencing departure, and determine the appropriate sentence,” concluded the Court of Appeals decision.

The PSI reflected Gramentz cooperated with the PSI, had no criminal history, and appeared to show remorse for the victims. Gramentz also participated in a psychosexual evaluation, which recommended treatment.

At sentencing, Gramentz argued that he was particularly amendable to probation based on the psychosexual evaluation and the PSI.

The state asked the district court to deny the motion and impose executed sentences.

A week later, the district court issued a written sentencing order and memorandum granting the downward dispositional departure motion for a more lenient sentence.

The basis for granting the sentence were: (1) the psychosexual evaluation indicated Gramentz is amendable to probation and outpatient sex offender treatment, the victims requested Gramentz not be sent to prison; and the comprehensive and strict probationary conditions of the sentence.

The state appealed, arguing the sentence should be reversed because the district court failed to make the necessary finding that Gramentz was particularly amenable to probation and that the facts do not establish it.

The state also argued the district court improperly based its departure decision on the statements and concerns of the victims.

Brown County Attorney Chuck Hanson said he was pleased that the matter was sent back to re-sentencing.

“I’m glad the Court of Appeals agreed with the assessment that the sentence imposed was not appropriate without the necessary findings by the district court, and had sent the matter back to re-sentencing,” Hanson said.

“I’m thankful for (Scott County Attorney) Ron Hocevar and the Scott County Attorney’s office for their professionalism and hard work throughout this case,” added Hanson.

Mankato attorney Patrick J. Casey was not available for comment Wednesday.

A district court re-sentencing date has not yet been set.


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