A Minnesota man received a 35-year sentence Friday for sexually assaulting a child in Bayfield County.
Matthew Robert Lauseng, 35, was ordered by Judge John Anderson to serve an initial term of 20 years in prison, followed by 15 years of extended supervision. He'll also serve a consecutive 18 months in prison, followed by 18 months or supervision, for a drug charge.
Lauseng was found guilty by a Bayfield County jury on charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child under 16 and delivery of THC. The verdict came May 28 following a three-day trial that was the first in the state to occur in more than two months after a suspension of most proceedings in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bayfield County District Attorney Kim Lawton said the charges stemmed from an August 2018 incident in which the victim ran from the scene with her young siblings after being sexually assaulted by Lauseng. A police officer found her hiding behind the dumpsters at the Holiday Station gas station in Washburn. Lawton said a DNA sample collected from the victim's body identified Lauseng as the perpetrator.
Lawton, who prosecuted the case with Assistant District Attorney Katie Posewitz, said the conviction was the result of a "team effort" that included several law enforcement officials and victim advocates.
“I’m incredibly proud of the victim for coming forward," Lawton said in a statement Friday. "The child victim was brave the night of the assault, and incredibly compassionate and protective of her younger siblings. The child victim testified well, and was supported by family, an advocate and the victim witness coordinator.
“Young women standing up and being brave is more than just a hashtag or a movement; it changes our society. Violence against young women is far too common. There is no excuse for sexual assault.”