Brooklyn Center man pleads guilty to criminal sexual conduct with 13-year-olds

Tuesday,

A former Brooklyn Center man pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with young boys, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Tuesday.

Robert Messersmith, 75, who now lives in Inverness, Fl., was taken into custody after his guilty plea Friday afternoon. He will be sentenced June 25 and is expected to receive concurrent sentences totaling three years in prison, minus credit for just under four months served in a county jail while awaiting extradition from Florida to Minnesota. In addition, he will be on conditional release, or probation, for the rest of his life.

“This was a very good outcome,” Freeman said. “Not only are these children spared from having to testify, but Mr. Messersmith will be imprisoned when the sentencing guidelines recommend only probation. Further, he will be reporting to probation officers until he dies, making it more difficult for him to harm others.”

According to the criminal complaints and his statements in court Friday, Messersmith acknowledged that in 2010, he and his wife lived in Brooklyn Center and at their house had “a small pool.”

Under questioning from Tara Ferguson Lopez, senior assistant Hennepin County attorney, Messersmith admitted that between 2010 and 2014, he knew there were little boys living in the area and they all had single mothers. He said he had no reason to doubt that they were under 13 and when they were at his pool, or his home, Messersmith had a position of authority or supervision over them. Using that authority, he admitted he convinced the boys to touch their own penises and those of the other boys.
 
“And you did it with aggressive or sexual intent?” Ferguson Lopez asked.

“Sexual, yes,” Messersmith answered.

The county attorney’s office had submitted aggravating circumstances, including a prior criminal sexual conduct conviction and having multiple victims for a period of time, which could have resulted in a longer prison term if it had gone to trial and the jury found him guilty. Instead, Messersmith agreed to the prison sentence.

Criminal complaint (PDF)