Brainerd man pleads guilty to sexual abuse of minor, sentenced to prison
Curtiss Hoffman pleaded guilty to two felonies and Halverson sentenced him to 12 years for the first count and 16 years and 8 months for the second count, to be served concurrently.
BRAINERD — In a case described by the prosecuting attorney as one of the worst she had ever seen, a 54-year-old Brainerd man pleaded guilty to criminal sexual conduct with a minor Tuesday, Jan. 3.
Curtiss Wayne Hoffman appeared in person before Judge Charles Halverson in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd. Halverson asked Hoffman, along with his public defender Jessen Alexander, whether they were prepared for a plea agreement.
Before moving forward, Assistant Crow Wing County Attorney Janine LePage advised the court of a change to the charges. The second charge — felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct with contact or penetration of someone under the age of 16, with whom a significant relationship is shared — would be changed to mirror the first charge. The first charge was felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct with contact or penetration of someone under the age of 14 by someone more than 36 months older.
After both charges were listed and Hoffman agreed to the facts of the case, LePage said this was one of the most disturbing cases she had seen in over 26 years of working with family sexual abuse cases.
“A man of God … a teacher in the community … and this is how he treats” the victim, LePage said.
After LePage spoke, she asked Halverson to follow the sentencing agreement before letting the Sexual Assault Services advocate speak on the behalf of the victim.
Before reading the victim impact statements, the advocate said in her 23 years of working with the county, this was the first time she had ever written a statement on behalf of the community in which he lived. She also read a statement from the victim and the victim’s mother.
Describing her own struggles with depression since learning of what Hoffman did, the victim's mother said she never wanted to see Hoffman again, while wanting him to repent for his actions. She wrote about trying to make sense of what happened while trying to to find counseling and maintaining a job, saying she now questions every good memory her family ever had.
Hoffman pleaded guilty to two felonies and Halverson sentenced him to 12 years for the first count and 16 years and 8 months for the second count, to be served concurrently. The second count also carries lifetime probation.
Halverson dismissed the other two charges against Hoffman — felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct with someone under the age of 16 with multiple acts of penetration by someone with a significant relationship; and felony second-degree criminal sexual conduct with someone under the age of 16 with multiple acts.
On Nov. 18, Hoffman was arrested at his place of employment in Brainerd.
The sheriff’s office received a report on Nov. 11 of a child under the age of 13 who several weeks earlier was sexually assaulted at a Brainerd residence. The sexual assaults of the child, who is known to the defendant, started about two years ago, according to the criminal complaint filed against Hoffman.
After the child told her mother about the sexual assaults, her mother texted Hoffman and asked if there was any truth to the claims. Hoffman responded with “Some,” along with two sad face emojis, according to the criminal complaint. He also sent a text message to the woman saying he would turn himself in to authorities.
On Nov. 17, the sheriff’s office executed a search warrant at Hoffman’s residence and seized his cellphone. The electronic data showed the phone was reset to factory settings on Nov. 14.