Douglas Wayne Braker, rural Backus, was sentenced Oct. 3 in Cass County District Court to 144 months in prison followed by a 10-year conditional release period after previously pleading guilty to first-degree criminal sexual conduct involving the sexual penetration of a minor, the Cass County Attorney's Office reported in a news release.

This sentence is consistent with the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines. Upon release from prison, Braker will be required to register as a predatory offender. Assistant Cass County Attorney Jeanine Brand prosecuted this case with investigations conducted by the Cass County Sheriff's Office.

When a person is charged with a crime, there are numerous constitutional rights that protect a criminal defendant during the prosecution process, the news release said. While these rights are important to society as a whole, they can make a prosecution extremely stressful for victims, families and the community. It takes courage for a victim to report a crime like this and to remain engaged with the county attorney’s office as the prosecution process plays out.

It was humbling to see so many people fill a courtroom in support of a victim and to provide statements about how a crime has impacted that victim and an entire family, the county attorney's office said in the news release. It demonstrates that criminal prosecutions are a community endeavor and each of us has a part to play. Law enforcement can investigate a crime. The county attorney’s office can try to prosecute it.

But it takes extreme bravery for victims to report crimes, and support from the community, family and friends to ensure prosecutions are successful, the county attorney's office said.