Man sentenced for sexual assault at Heritage House

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A male caregiver at the Heritage House in Pequot Lakes who admitted to sexually assaulting a 78-year-old woman with Alzheimer's disease in the assisted living facility has been sentenced.

Judge Earl Maus filed a sentencing order Monday in Crow Wing County District Court in Brainerd against David Erwin DeLong, 60, Pine River. Delong was convicted on one count of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. As part of the sentencing order the other five felony criminal sexual conduct charges—three third-degree and two fourth-degree—were dismissed.

Delong is serving 365 days in Crow Wing County Jail, and was given credit for 38 days. According to the in-custody list, DeLong was booked Oct. 21. DeLong entered a guilty plea agreement this past July. Once he gets out of jail, he will be on 10 years supervised probation. If he violates his probation he may have to serve the judge's original sentence of three years in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud, as it is a stayed sentence.

DeLong will have to complete a chemical assessment and a psychological sexual evaluation. He will not be able to have any alcohol or controlled substance, cannot enter any bars or liquor establishment and is subject to random testing. He also cannot possess or use any pornographic, sexual explicit materials and pay a $210 fine.

According to the criminal complaint filed against DeLong, he sexually assaulted the woman in May of 2016. The woman then was nonverbal, wheelchair-bound and unable to feed herself, requiring around-the-clock care, the complaint stated.

On May 8, 2016, a Pequot Lakes officer was dispatched to the Heritage House on the report of a possible sexual assault of a resident. The officer met with a staff member, working in the same building as DeLong, who reported she interrupted DeLong committing what she believed was a sexual assault.

The staff member said she was the only other person working in the building at the time, and wanted to leave for a cup of coffee between 9:15-9:30 p.m. She went to find DeLong to tell him, and noticed the door was closed to the room he was in. She told the officer she tapped on the door a few times, waited a second or two, and then opened the door.

Inside, the staff member said the resident was lying on her side in a fetal position with her backside positioned outwards, naked from the waist down. DeLong stood several feet away sweaty and out of breath, the staff member said, jumping up and down attempting to pull up his pants and underwear. DeLong allegedly turned around and looked at his co-worker, said "I," but then stopped, shaking his head before turning his back.

DeLong was immediately suspended and was terminated within 48 hours of the investigation beginning.