A Washington County man will spend nearly three years in prison for kidnapping a 14-year-old New York girl last year with the intention of having sex with her.
Michael Angelo Goerlich of Landfall was sentenced Friday for having driven the girl last May 1,000 miles from where she lived near Rochester, N.Y., prompting a statewide Amber Alert after her parents discovered she was gone.
A few days later, a Washington County sheriff’s deputy found the girl in a locked bedroom at the back of Goerlich’s mobile home in Landfall, next to Oakdale. She had called police in New York, asking for help, after he went to his job.
Goerlich, 54, was found guilty in December of three felony counts relating to kidnapping with intent to commit sexual misconduct and false imprisonment. The jury deliberated for two hours, after a two-day trial in Washington County District Court in Stillwater.
On Friday, Judge Gary Schurrer sent Goerlich to St. Cloud prison for 41 months, giving him credit for 256 days in jail. That means Goerlich will spend about 32 months in prison, said prosecutor Jessica Stott of the Washington County attorney’s office.
Schurrer also required Goerlich to register as a predatory offender.
According to the complaint, the girl told officials that she met Goerlich in a chat room.
Goerlich asked that she send naked photos of herself, they later had phone sex, and she was convinced he wanted to pursue a romantic or sexual relationship with her in person, the complaint said.
Stott said good police work resulted in a rescue of the girl before a sexual assault took place. The case had serious implications because of the distance traveled and Goerlich’s intentions, she said.
“This office has placed a high priority on prosecuting those predators engaged in the sex trafficking of our youth,” said County Attorney Pete Orput. “This plague cannot be dealt with severely enough. We are grateful that one more of these predators is off the streets.”