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Offender freed after breaking probation

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:44 am

A man who pleaded guilty to continuous sexual abuse of a child in 2009 was back in court Tuesday.

Preston Sonstegaard, who was 19 at the time of the incident according to a 2008 Herald article, began crying in court when Judge David Nelson set his bond at $1,000 personal recognizance, allowing him to walk free without posting any cash. Sonstegaard was arrested for allegedly breaking two probation conditions, that he be employed and complete a sex offender treatment program.

Sonstegaard initially pleaded guilty in February of 2009 to the Class A felony.

The sexual contact occurred between December of 2007 and February of 2008, according to earlier reports, between Sonstegaard and a 13-year-old girl.

At the time, he was sentenced to 10 years in a state correctional facility, with 10 years suspended.

Sonstegaard also has an earlier probation violation dating to November, 2010, according to court documents.

At the bond hearing, Assistant State’s Attorney Nathan Madden argued for no bond in the case, given Sonstegaard’s history.

But Nelson instead said he is not too concerned about the current lack of employment and would be willing to set the PR bond.

Sonstegaard began crying as Nelson announced his decision.

“Thank you so much, your honor,” he said.

Nelson said he will follow the advice of Sonstegaard’s probation officer going forward.

“If he says bring him in and hold him without bond, I’m going to bring him in and hold him without bond,” he said.

Nelson said he remains concerned about Sonstegaard leaving the treatment program.

“You need to take this serious,” Nelson said.

“I do,” Sonstegaard responded.

Sonstegaard’s next appearance is scheduled for next week.

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