After deliberating just 90 minutes, a Ramsey County jury convicted Baofeng Wang of sexually molesting two girls who took private art classes from him in 2000 and 2001 in his Falcon Heights apartment.

Wang, 38, showed no emotion when the verdict was read: guilty on two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct. His wife, sitting in the front row of the courtroom gallery, wiped tears from her eyes.

District Judge M. Michael Monahan set sentencing for March 28. Wang will be sentenced under guidelines in place when the crimes were committed; they call for a stayed sentence of 21 months per charge, meaning Wang likely would be given probation. Were Wang to be sentenced under guidelines in place now, he could be sentenced to 90 months of prison time on each charge.

According to testimony and court documents, one of Wang's former students told police in August 2006 that she had been molested by him several times in 2000 and 2001 when she took art lessons at his home on the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus. The woman, now 20, said Wang touched her breasts and took her hand and put it down his pants. She was 11 and 12 years old at the time of the incidents, she said.

Another woman, now 18, testified she was 10 when Wang touched her inappropriately and tried to get her to look at his genitals.

Defense attorney Tom Gallagher contended that the girls, who went to Chinese language school together, were friends and concocted the story to get their teacher in trouble.

Gallagher said Wang came to St. Paul from China in 1997 with no English skills at all. Word got around that he was a good artist and that he taught classes to supplement the family's income. He touched the students' hands to teach them to hold the brush correctly and he touched their upper backs to remind them to sit up straight.

But "he did not do these things he is accused of," Gallagher told the jury of seven women and five men.

Prosecutor Jill Gerber told the jury that the victims have no reason to lie. "It would have been easier to keep quiet," she said of the victims.

The Wangs later moved from St. Paul to Hainesville, Ill.