A former police officer for the city of Kasson, Minn., has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three girls over a 20-year period, the Olmsted County Attorney's Office said Friday.

Julio Baez, 52, of St. Charles, Minn., had been charged in Rice, Dodge and Olmsted counties with criminal sexual conduct against the three victims. The conduct, disclosed last year, was initially investigated by the Olmsted County Sheriff's Office. Thursday's plea involved a deal in which some other charges will be dismissed.

"Critical to reaching resolution was the involvement and understanding of the victims," said Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem. "It is unfathomable to appreciate the impact of Baez's horrific conduct on each of their lives, and we needed to ensure each victim's voice was heard."

According to the Rochester Post-Bulletin, two of the victims, now grown women, were in the courtroom Thursday for Baez's hearing, as were members of Baez's family.

Baez was arrested in June at a hotel in Winona and taken to a Rochester hospital for treatment of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. He had been jailed since then.

He is expected to serve 18 years in prison. Sentencing is set for April 3.