AUSTIN, Minn. – A Mower County man convicted of raping a young girl will stay in prison but won’t be on conditional release when he gets out.
Oscar Armando Vargas, 24 of Austin, was sentenced to consecutive 12-year sentences after pleaded guilty to two counts of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct. That was to be followed by a lifetime on conditional release after getting out of prison.
Vargas appealed, arguing the sentence was too harsh and that the conditional release element of his sentence was illegal because he has only one conviction on his record.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected Vargas’ complaint over the length of his sentence, ruling the District Court was correct to consider his lack of remorse, the victim’s suffering, and the possibility he victimize someone else in the future. However, the Court of Appeals also struck down the 99-year conditional release and ordered Vargas receive 10 years of conditional release after leaving prison. The Court says that since Vargas’ guilty pleas to both counts were accepted at the same time, the judge should not have considered them as separate convictions when determining the length of Vargas’ conditional release.
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