ST. CLOUD (WJON News) -- A Stearns County judge has sentenced a Sauk Rapids man to a stay of adjudication for sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl. It means the court does not place a conviction on the defendant's record and instead, it is withheld until certain conditions are met.

The charge against 27-year-old Cole Van Halbeck will be dismissed if he successfully completes his five-year probation.

Records show Van Halbeck was working as a personal care assistant in a Sartell home at the time. He was accused of sexually molesting the girl several times in early 2016 as he worked in her home to care for a sibling.

Van Halbeck pleaded guilty to 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 13-years-old. A 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was dropped as part of the plea agreement.

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According to the criminal complaint, the girl told investigators Van Halbeck sexually abused her for several months while she was just 11-years-old and he was 21.

Stearns County Court records show Van Halbeck had worked in the home from February 2016 through at least April of that year.





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