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New London man to go to prison for nearly 12 years for criminal sexual conduct, witness tampering

Craig Hargreaves

WILLMAR -- Craig Allan Hargreaves, 39, of New London pleaded guilty Friday afternoon in Kandiyohi County District Court to charges of witness tampering and criminal sexual conduct.

The case stems from an assault of a minor boy in the late 1980s and the assault this year of an 18-year-old man while the man was mentally impaired.

Other ch-arges were dismissed.

Judge Da-vid Mennis set sentencing for 9 a.m. Aug. 21.

Hargreaves had previously pleaded not guilty and his trial was to have been held this week in Willmar.

Connie Crowell, assistant Kandiyohi County attorney, said Hargreaves will go to prison under state sentencing guidelines for a minimum of 144 months.

Hargreaves agreed to the presumptive sentence in the signed plea agreement.

Crowell told the Tribune she talked to all victims involved in the case who said they were pleased with the result.

Hargreaves was charged Friday with aggravated first-degree witness tampering and first-degree tampering with a witness while he was being held in the Kandiyohi County Jail. Court documents state that Hargreaves asked fellow inmates on Thursday to physically prevent witnesses from testifying against him, to beat them up and to "take care of them.'' Crowell said authorities learned of the threats Thursday from an inmate.

In addition to the witness-tampering charges, Hargreaves pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree criminal sexual conduct -- multiple incidents. The charge stems from incidents in 1988 and 1989 when Hargreaves was 12 or 13 and sexually abused a 6- or 7-year-old boy in the Twin Cities. The abuse allegedly continued when the family moved to New London and included multiple sex acts.

The state dismissed four counts of criminal sexual conduct, two counts of furnishing liquor to a minor and one count of fifth-degree providing a small amount of marijuana with no remuneration. Crowell said the man, who was 18 at the time, agreed to dismissal of the charges as long as Hargreaves would be sent to prison.