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Ahlman sentenced to 10 years in prison for child porn, assault

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A former town of Kinnickinnic man received a 20-year sentenced Thursday morning in convictions for possession of child pornography and sex assault of a child.

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Craig F. Ahlman, 43, Minnetonka, Minn., pleaded guilty to the felony charges in a plea bargain Dec. 11.

Judge Eric J. Lundell accepted the recommendation of ADA Kathryn Grosdidier in handing down the sentence. Defense attorney John J. Luening of Minneapolis requested incarceration in a local jail rather than prison time and "lengthy therapy."

"He has never been in trouble with the law before and has accepted responsibility," Luening said.

Prior to sentencing, Grosdidier read a letter to the court composed by the victim, now 13-years-old. The girl said that it has been a year since the incident and she, "still has nightmares but doesn't wake up screaming any more." She said the experience was "horrible and disgusting" and that she is "not close to anyone."

Ahlman, dressed in a dark suit, exercised his right of allocution and read a prepared statement to the court in which he expressed his "deepest regret" to the victim and apologized to all who were affected by his actions.

In the end Judge Lundell focused on two major themes in handing down his sentence - a deterrent factor to Ahlman and others of the same ilk and protection of the public. "The appropriate sentence has to be prison," he said.

Lundell noted that Ahlman faced potential total of 155 years in prison before the plea bargain was reached.

The criminal complaint said Ahlman inappropriately touched the victim on two occasions 0over Thanksgiving and Christmas of 2008 when she was staying at his residence. Sheriff's deputies searched his office computer in the town of Kinnickinnic on Jan. 21, 2009 and turned up images of child pornography.

Ahlman and his wife operated a wedding photography business out of their residence.

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