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Son of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek pleads guilty to child solicitation

Child porn charges against Ryan Stanek were dropped.
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The son of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek has pleaded guilty to a child sex offense.

Ryan James Stanek, 25, was charged last year with four felony charges relating to possessing child porn and soliciting a child for sex.

But in court on Monday, KARE 11 reports three of those were dismissed at a plea hearing.

He then pleaded guilty to soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct – a felony. He'll be sentenced in May.

After his son's arrest last spring, Sheriff Rich Stanek said his son is "accountable for his own actions," but "as parents we will continue to assist him to do what we can to help guide him.

"Like all parents, we love our son and are providing him the support that we hope will help him deal with the challenges in his life," he added.


– Son of Sheriff Rich Stanek faces child solicitation charge.

What did he do?

When first charged last year, we reported that authorities built a case after the father of a young woman complained about texts Stanek had sent to her.

Stanek asked the woman to find girls aged between 8 and 17 and send him nude pictures of them – he then demanded she create a social media profile stating her age was 17, which would allow her to contact children.

Among the texts sent to the woman from Stanek was one saying: "I want a girl who's 8 to 12 y.o," and when asked to clarify he replied: "A young girl to play with you and me," before asking if she had any neighbors or cousins of that age.

She sent a picture of her 14-year-old cousin, and Stanek said he wanted to have sex with her. It was at this point that police got involved, taking over control of the woman's cellphone and proceeding undercover.

Stanek asked to arrange a meet-up with another girl, who was 13 years old, in Mankato. He said via text that "we can find a quiet area and play in my truck," adding that he wanted "full sex."

Still undercover, the officer arranged the meeting with Stanek while posing as the 13-year-old girl on a separate phone. When Stanek arrived on May 19, police found his truck and arrested him.

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