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A New Ulm police officer has been charged with 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 13.

The charges were filed in Brown County Wednesday against Eric Alan Gramentz, 43, who is listed as an investigator with the New Ulm Police Department.

Gramentz is currently being held in Waseca County Jail, a move that the Brown County Sheriff's Office says was taken to "avoid any potential conflict of interest" in the investigation.

Gramentz is also facing a charge of 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child under the age of 16.

It follows a complaint made on Monday that alleges he was involved in a "significant relationship" with a child, who had told a trusted adult the day before that Gramentz had "touched them" about four years ago when the victim was 11 or 12 years old.

This adult confronted Gramentz, who agreed to turn himself into police.

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The criminal charges state that Gramentz had touched and penetrated the victim's vagina when they were 11 or 12 "under the guise of trying to teach her how to masturbate" as a way to handle stomach pains the victim was experiencing.

This supposed "coaching" went on for a period of two months.

The victim also told that on occasions, Gramentz would place his penis in her hand.

When questioned about it, Gramentz initially argued that he was genuinely trying to help the victim with stomach pains, but as time went on "it became about him because it was risky, sexually it was 'something different'."

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