A Red Wing man who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting
three females will serve at least 10 years in prison, a Goodhue
County judge ruled Friday.
Prior to handing down the sentence, First District Court
Judge Thomas Bibus told Charles Ottman, 62, he would likely spend the rest of his life incarcerated.
Ottman's sentence was reached through a plea agreement,
paring down 12 charges to the three carrying the heaviest terms -
criminal sexual conduct in the first-, second- and third-degree.
Bibus, characterizing Ottman as an opportunistic predator, said "the three convictions only touch the surface regarding the amount of harm you have caused."
The charges don't represent some victims whose cases have
passed the statute of limitations. Those individuals revealed
Ottman's conduct spanned across decades and included male and female relatives.
It took a 13-year-old victim coming forward to bring those other offenses to light. The girl told police Ottman had masturbated in front of her and touched her sexually in his Pottery Place apartment.
He was arrested Jan. 19, and in February a developmentally delayed 25-year-old woman reported "Charlie" Ottman had engaged her in sexual acts as well.
A third victim, now 17 years old, stood in the courtroom
Friday with her mother and father at each side imploring Bibus to
deal Ottman the maximum sentence.
She said she's lived in terror since he assaulted her in his Pepin Woods home eight years ago.
"I have lied to everyone around me for eight years" for fear of being killed, she said. Ottman threatened her and her family if she reported the abuse.
"Since then I've been terrified to leave my house or make
friends," she said. "I became a prisoner in my own house and mind. But no more."
Stories of attempted suicides, troublemaking friends,
depression, fear and shame threaded the victims' statements to the judge.
"This man took my life," one victim wrote. "He should have killed me. It would have been better."
Assistant County Attorney Erin Schmickle called Ottman a
human wrecking ball who's left carnage at every pass all for the
"gratification of his own sick, sexual satisfaction."
She said a psychosexual evaluation revealed Ottman had a slim to zero chance of rehabilitation.
"He asked the court to believe that he loved them. He asked the court to believe they were special to him" Schmickle said. "He's so skilled in his manipulation that he's even convinced himself that he's acting out of love."
Only time will can repair the damage done, Schmickle said, but the court can give the victims the gift of certainty, finality and safety by fulfilling the terms of the plea agreement.
Ottman's public defender, John Gavin, also asked the judge to adhere to the plea arrangement for his client, who has been the focus of public outrage.
Speaking few words on his own behalf, Ottman apologized to the victims and said he hopes to someday rejoin society as a
Ottman was sentenced to 192 months, 128 of which must be
served in prison, with credit for time served since Jan. 19. Bibus also ordered Ottman to pay restitution and the medical and counseling expenses of his victims and complete sex offender treatment.