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Monroe man takes deal in sex assault
MONROE - A Monroe man on Tuesday accepted an amended charge of third-degree sexual assault of a child after initially facing four felony charges related to the sexual assault of a teenage girl last May.

Turner J. Beernink, 20, was charged with four felonies in June: second-degree sexual assault of a child, enticing a child into sexual contact and two counts of exposing genitalia to a child. He agreed to the deal with the Green County District Attorney Office for a lesser sentence: The counts of enticement and exposure of genitalia were dismissed, and Beernink instead was found guilty due to a no-contest plea on one count of third-degree sexual assault.

The charge could come with up to a $25,000 fine and/or up to 10 years in prison. Judge Thomas Vale explained to Beernink during proceedings that the court would assign an investigator to look into Beernink's life as part of the pre-sentence investigation. The assigned investigator would then recommend a sentence to the court, although Vale said the court does not have to follow the recommendation. The investigation should be concluded within 45 days, and the sentencing will follow.

Beernink was charged with sexual assault of a teen girl after he arranged to meet with her over Facebook on May 22, 2015 at a Monroe apartment where he was staying. The girl told police she and Beernink had met on the social network in early April and started dating one to two days later. She first told her school guidance counselor that she had unprotected sex with a man named Turner, and that she knew he would soon turn 19. Once police interviewed a friend of Beernink, they issued a warrant for Beernink's arrest. He turned himself into authorities on June 18.

Once sentenced, Beernink will also be listed on the sex offender registry for 15 years. Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 5.