Man loses appeal on sex crime conviction

Andrew Severtson
Andrew Severtson

ST. PAUL, Minn. – A man convicted of having sex with an 11-year-old girl has lost his appeal.

33-year-old Andrew Russell Severtson was found guilty in Olmsted County District Court of 1st degree criminal sexual conduct.  The girl told her mother that Severtson sexually assaulted her many times from 2010 to 2012.  He was arrested in September, 2013, and was convicted after a jury trial in April, 2015.

Severtson was sentenced to over 20 years in state prison.

In his appeal, Severtson argued that he should get a new trial because the prosecution did not provide him a copy of the video examination of the girl’s genitals and that the judge should have reviewed any counseling or mental-health records of the victim.  Severtson claimed the girl’s mother had coached her to accuse him and evidence of that might be in those records.

The Minnesota Court of Appeals has rejected all of those arguments.  It ruled that since the video examination was not entered as evidence and that Severtson knew before the trial a doctor would be testifying about what the video showed, he had ample opportunity to request a copy of the video before this.  Furthermore, the Court found that there is no reason to believe the verdict would have been different if Severtson had obtained a copy of the video.

The Court of Appeals also ruled that when he requested a review of the victim’s mental health records, he did not even know if the girl had ever received counseling and offered no evidence that such records would contain any information that might have changed the guilty verdict.

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