The son of Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek has been sentenced to time in the workhouse for seeking sex from a minor by using a cellphone connected to his father’s re-election campaign.
Ryan J. Stanek, 25, was sentenced in Blue Earth County District Court last week after having pleaded guilty to felony solicitation of a child for sex. Stanek was arrested on May 19, 2017, at the River Hills Mall in Mankato, where authorities said he believed he had arranged to meet a young woman and her 13-year-old friend for sex. Instead, he was arrested by Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) agents.
Judge Kurt D. Johnson’s sentence calls for 90 days in the workhouse with release for sex offender treatment. Stanek was also fined $10,000 and put on three years’ supervised probation.
Terms of his probation require that he register as a predatory offender, avoid sexually explicit material or entertainment and have no contact with minors unless approved by his probation officer. He must have monitoring equipment installed on any computers and cellphones he uses.
BCA agents reported finding images on Stanek’s cellphone “consistent with child pornography” involving girls as young as 3, according to the prosecution.
In exchange for pleading guilty to the one charge, three other felony counts were dismissed.
Sheriff Stanek said having his son use a campaign phone was a money-saving move. A sheriff’s spokesman said that for years Stanek has made two monthly payments for the service — one on behalf of his family, the other on behalf of his campaign.
Since turning 18, Ryan Stanek also has been cited for inattentive driving, speeding, driving on a suspended license, loud music and drug possession. He was sentenced to a year of probation in 2015 for drunken driving. He was charged in 2014 with damaging a tree and a horse trail while four-wheeling at Lake Rebecca Park Reserve near Delano.