The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

July 17, 2014

New Ulm man sentenced in punishment case

NEW ULM — A New Ulm man pleaded guilty and was sentenced this week for a domestic assault in a case dealing with abusive punishment of a child.

Steven Zeitz, 31, was charged March 10 in Brown County District Court with felony malicious punishment of a child, three gross misdemeanor counts of contributing to need for child protection or services, and gross misdemeanor domestic assault. He only pleaded guilty to domestic assault. The other charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

The complaint said Zeitz would punish the victim, a minor, and the victim's siblings by forcing them to stand in a stress position until they started crying. He would also heavily pinch the victims or spank them enough times to cause bruises.

He was sentenced to 365 days in Brown County Jail with credit for 45 days already served. He was also fined $3,000. However, the sentenced stayed most of the punishment for two years. He will only receive $700 in fines and 45 days in jail with eight days credited for time served. His days in jail will be spread out over more than a year.

He was also sentenced to two years of probation related to the stayed sentence. The probation terms will require him not to contact the victims, complete drug tests and maintain a job. The terms also require him to keep up with his probation for his separate conviction for gross misdemeanor stalking, which includes a requirement that he undergo anger management courses.

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