Hutchinson man sentenced in Olmsted County child sex abuse cases
[anvplayer video=”5174925″ station=”998128″]
(ABC 6 News) – Daniel Joseph Kenney was sentenced to 172 months, or a little over 14 years, at the MN Correctional Facility in St. Cloud Wednesday, July 5.
According to Minnesota Court records, Kenney will receive credit for 195 days spent in Olmsted County custody, with conditional release possible after 10 years.
Kenney pleaded guilty to repeatedly sexually abusing two Stewartville children in the summer of 2021.
A case involving a third Olmsted County child was dismissed as part of Kenney’s plea agreement.
Kenney faces another charge of molesting a McLeod County girl. His next court hearing is scheduled for July 25.
(ABC 6 News) – A Hutchinson man accused of molesting three Olmsted County children pleaded guilty in two cases Monday, May 1.
Daniel Joseph Kenney, 45, pleaded guilty to two charges of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct against Stewartville children in the summer of 2021.
According to court records, Kenney is accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting two children, ages 7 and 9, who visited his home when he lived in Stewartville.
One of the cases was filed in 2021, and the other was filed in 2022.
Per Kenney’s plea agreement, in exchange for the two guilty pleas for the 2021 and 2022 cases, the entire 2023 case will be dismissed at sentencing. Kenney described sexually abusing the two Stewartville children on multiple occasions, as part of his plea hearing.
Kenney, who is currently in custody in the Olmsted County Adult Detention Center, faces a guaranteed minimum sentence of 12.75 years, up to a maximum sentence of 18 years.
In court, Kenney admitted to the molestation of two children, and while the victim’s mother and family say the hearing was extremely difficult, what was even harder to hear, was Kenney’s lack of remorse for what he did.
The mother of the two Stewartville victims is speaking out to help other parents know the real danger of child predators.
“There are really evil people out there who do really evil things,” she explained.
She thought Kenney was a trusted family friend
“We found out he threatened my children,” she explained.
But she was wrong.
She says her 9-year-old daughter was a victim of molestation and manipulation. She says Kenney told her daughter that if she told her mom what was happening, something bad would happen.
She says the sexual abuse lasted almost a year.
Months after the first charges were filed, she realized Kenney preyed on her younger daughter too.
“During our bedtime routine trying to comfort my older daughter she said something to the effect of ‘it’s okay, he’ll never hurt us again’, to which point I knew that there was more,” she explained.
With two first-degree charges on the line and after trial was pushed back four times, she says Monday was the first breath of justice her family has felt..
“I mean it’s a good plea deal. My girls got great justice.”
But she still doesn’t think its enough.
“The other victim, did she get justice? She made this deal happen so she’s gonna get justice a different way, but it’s got to be hard for her and her mom,” she said.
Now, this Stewartville mom tells her daughters that they’re survivors and is helping them recover from a trauma they should have never fell victim to.
“They need to know its not their fault. And we need to know it’s not our fault, we didn’t do anything wrong.”
She says parents need to take extra security measures when monitoring children’s electronics.
Most importantly, parents need to trust their got, and if it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
Defense attorney Amanda Lindberg also said in court that Kenney faces a lifetime predatory sexual offender registration, as well as a lifetime on conditional release, described as “parole-plus.”
According to Lindberg, if Kenney violates the conditions of his release post-prison, he could be held by the department of corrections for any length of time up to the rest of his life, depending on the severity of the violation.
Kenney faces additional criminal sexual conduct charges in McLeod County, for allegedly molesting an 8-year-old girl after being released from Olmsted County’s adult detention center in 2022.
His next McLeod County court hearing is scheduled for June 13.
According to Kenney’s May 1 plea hearing, the guilty pleas mean that if he is convicted in McLeod County Court, Kenney could face a harsher sentence given the previous Olmsted County convictions.
Kenney’s Olmsted County sentencing is scheduled for July 5.