North Branch man sentenced in sex crime

A 47-year-old North Branch man has been sentenced to 90 days in jail and 10 years supervised probation after pleading guilty July 28 to a felony count of criminal sexual conduct in the 4th degree, stemming from sexual relations he had with a juvenile in Isanti County.

Robert Eugene Newman was sentenced before Judge James Dehn on Sept. 21 in Isanti County District Court in Cambridge. As part of his 90-day sentence, Newman can use work release or Sentence to Serve options if eligible. He can also be furloughed to sex offender treatment.

Newman will be on adult supervised probation until September 21, 2021.

According to the criminal complaint, Newman engaged in sexual contact with a young adult between the ages of 16 and 18 at a residence on Jan. 11. Two days later, an investigator with the Isanti County Sheriff’s Office met with the minor who reported the incident, which involved sexual touching.

According to court records, Newman was convicted of second degree criminal sexual conduct in Hennepin County in 1994 when he lived in Hopkins, Minn. He was sentenced to treatment through Project Pathfinders, a nonprofit that deals with issues of sexual abuse.

As a condition of his probation following the 1994 conviction, Newman was barred from solitary contact with juvenile females. His probation concluded in 2005 and his prior count was reduced to a misdemeanor.

Newman had been a candidate for the North Branch School Board in the 2010 election.