Paul Jonathon Lindahl was found guilty in Scott County District Court of three counts criminal sexual conduct and one count of malicious punishment of a child on Monday.
The most severe charge typically carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. But Scott County Judge Christian Wilton scheduled a Blakely hearing for Dec. 18, which will give a jury the option to enhance Lindahl’s sentence more than state guidelines normally allow.
According to court documents, the 10-year-old victim in 2017 told her therapist Lindahl, 54, of Shakopee sexually assaulted her and would burn and injure her, including by heating a screwdriver with a blow torch and putting it on her arm and forehead.
Lindahl denied harming or otherwise mistreating the child when he spoke to investigators.
A Shakopee detective assisted Scott County Child Protection with a child abuse investigation. Three days after the initial report to her therapist, the detective and a child abuse specialist met with her. She said she didn’t feel safe around Lindahl and showed scars from injuries he caused.
When authorities met with Lindahl in November, he suggested the victim’s injuries could be mosquito bites, burns from a wood-fire stove or a heat lamp he had for his chickens, according to the the criminal complaint.
The detective said the victim’s older brother also said he didn’t feel safe around Lindahl and feared for his sister.
The victim told an interviewer at CornerHouse, an advocacy center for children in Minneapolis, that’d she’d been physically and sexually abused by Lindahl and that Lindahl shot a gun in her direction multiple times, according to the complaint.
The victim recalled having to eat cat food after being deprived of food and water and that Lindahl once attempted to poison her.
The victim said Lindahl started talking about sex when she was 6 or 7 years old. The victim said Lindahl forced oral sex on her, choking her and threatening to kill her family members or her animals if she refused, the complaint states.
In his opening statements Sept. 26, Lindahl’s attorney Jill Brisbois argued that “none of the allegations were corroborated by anybody,” and that the Shakopee Police Department was too delayed in searching Lindahl’s property for evidence.
Lindahl was a manager at Lindahl Properties, according to the Better Business Bureau website, which manages Hunters Ridge Apartments in Shakopee. The property management company made headlines in 2011 about unsafe living conditions and non-maintained facilities within the company’s apartment buildings.