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Courtland child molester sentenced to decades in prison on federal, state charges

(St. Peter, MN) – A Courtland man has been sentenced in the federal and states courts on charges of child pornography and molestation.

Phillip Mark Reinhart, 38, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in St. Paul Friday to 40 years in prison on one count of production of child pornography, and one count of attempted production of child pornography.  He was also sentenced to 20 years supervised release.

At his sentencing on charges in Nicollet County Court Monday, Reinhart sat quietly with his head down as county attorney Michelle Zehnder-Fischer read a victim impact statement written by the mother of his victims.  The statement detailed how she and her children had to move to escape the torment his actions had caused.

Reinhart entered a guilty plea on one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct on state charges filed against him.  Eighteen other charges were dismissed as part of a plea deal.  Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Todd Westphal sentenced Reinhart to 5 years and 10 months in prison, to be served concurrently with his federal sentence.  He will not receive credit for time served.

“It was a serious crime that was committed against these children who should have been able to trust him,” said Zehnder-Fischer.   “And not only did he violate that trust by taking photographs of them, he sexually abused them, and now they do have to live with the potential that those pictures are out there forever.”

In April 2018, Reinhart interacted with FBI agents posing on a social networking application.  Court documents say Reinhart sent sexually explicit photos of his daughters to the undercover agent and told them he has them give him oral sex to “help him.”  Reinhart also sent child porn videos to the agent.   He was arrested days later at his workplace.

According to court documents, Reinhart admitted he had made the two victims – both girls under the age of 13 – touch his penis on multiple occasions.  He also admitted to forcing one of the girls to perform oral sex and taking a photo of the act.  He admitted to sending pornographic images of both girls over the internet.

After Westphal read Reinhart his sentence, the judge told him he wasn’t sure of how much of the 40 years he would be required to serve.  “But frankly,” Westphal said, “I think the longer, probably the better.”

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