Norman County Man Sentenced To Maximum Penalty for Sex Crimes Ag - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Norman County Man Sentenced To Maximum Penalty for Sex Crimes Against Teens

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"These are always tough cases when you have a juvenile victim that has to testify in court, and in this case there were two juvenile victims, which made it especially tough. It was a tough case, good verdict and a good sentence," says Norman county prosecutor, James Brue.

A Gary, Minnesota, man is sentenced to the maximum penalty Wednesday for sex crimes against teenagers. Rocky Zahrowski was found guilty of several sexual felonies including soliciting minors and criminal sexual conduct. He committed more than a dozen sexual acts with two teens between the ages of 13 and 15 in the summer of 2013. Valley News Team's Ashley Bishop was at the sentencing and explains the magnitude of this ruling.

Rocky Zahrowski won't get out of jail for 30 years and will also have a lifetime of supervised release. He made the victims have sex with him, with each other and participate in oral sex. Valley News Live had the opportunity to speak with Norman County Prosecutor James Brue on this case. Since Zahrowski has never had any prior convictions, we wanted to know if this is typical sentence for criminal sexual cases. Breu says it depends on a person's criminal history and circumstances surrounding the crime, but adds pressure from the public has some judges handing down tougher penalties.

"Over the last 20 to 30 years Minnesota has really increased the penalties for criminal sexual conduct cases. You don't have to go back to far, 20 years, to see it is double the penalties. I think that is due to public pressure, people want to see long sentences for sex offenders," Brue explains.

One of the victim's family was present at the sentencing and Valley News Live spoke to a family member. She said they are happy everything is over so they can begin to move on with their lives. Zahrowski's mother was also there and she told Valley News Live she thinks her son would have been better off with a jury trial.

Zahrowski is eligible to get out in 20 years, if he has good behavior while in prison. He won't get out of prison until he's at least 76 years old and at that time, he will have to register as a sex offender.
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