In a recent development in the case of a harrowing sexual assault at a Spicer hotel in 2022, Ashir Hassan Kimbrough, 33, of Champlin, has pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The incident involved the use of a gun to facilitate the assault on a female employee at a local hotel.
Kimbrough, initially facing charges of two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, entered a Norgaard guilty plea on January 5 in Kandiyohi County District Court. This type of plea signifies that the defendant claims an inability to recall the circumstances of the offense but agrees that the evidence is sufficient for a jury to find him guilty.
The case had been temporarily halted for evaluation in the summer of 2022 when Kimbrough and his attorney cited a defense of mental illness or cognitive impairment. However, proceedings resumed after he was found competent to stand trial.
During the remote hearing, Kimbrough admitted to being under chemical influence at the time of the alleged offenses. Additionally, he acknowledged the “Blakely factors,” aggravating elements cited by prosecutors seeking a sentence beyond state guidelines. Assistant Kandiyohi County Attorney Laura Garvey highlighted particular cruelty and invasion of privacy as two aggravating factors.
As part of the plea agreement, Kandiyohi County attorneys are pushing for a prison sentence exceeding 28 years, with Kimbrough subject to lifetime registration as a predatory offender in Minnesota. A 10-year conditional release period will follow if he is committed to prison, during which he must adhere to electronic home monitoring and other specified conditions.
The incident, which occurred on February 27, 2022, involved a Kandiyohi County sheriff’s deputy responding to a weapons complaint in the early hours. A distressed woman, an employee at the Hampton Inn hotel, reported being assaulted by Kimbrough, the last check-in for the night. The complaint detailed a horrifying sequence of events, including physical assault, coercion, and the use of a firearm to intimidate the victim.
The sentencing hearing is currently scheduled for April 11, 2024. The victim, who suffered severe injuries during the assault, including a fractured cheekbone and a small hemorrhage, will likely see justice served as the legal proceedings progress.
This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing need for vigilance and safety measures to protect individuals from such heinous crimes. The legal system is working towards delivering a fair and just resolution in this disturbing case.