Loren Eisenbarth, 63, of Morgan was sentenced to serve 365 days in jail Monday morning in Redwood County Fifth District Court, but he has a 36-month sentence hanging over his head if he does not meet the conditions established by the court as part of his sentence.
Eisenbarth was found guilty of criminal sexual conduct in the second degree, which is a felony level offense, following a court trial held in December.
“This was a tough case, but the court saw that the evidence supported a conviction in this matter,” said Steven Collins, in a press release offered Dec. 18 following the conviction.
The trial which was held Dec. 11 came nearly a year after an incident was reported that alleged Eisenbarth had sexually assaulted a five-year-old child.
At the time, Eisenbarth was employed as a van driver for a school bus company.
That bus company provided transportation services for the Cedar Mountain School District. The incident occurred on or about Jan. 30, 2012.
Eisenbarth had been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and the court found him guilty of first degree criminal sexual conduct.
During the trial, the state presented evidence Eisenbarth touched the child which the child was in the van Eisenbarth was driving.
“In this case, the victim was able to tell others about the sexual contact, and that evidence was crucial in getting a conviction,” said Collins.
Ryan Hansch, Redwood County assistant attorney, led the prosecution of the case.
“Ryan did a fantastic job in this matter,” said Collins. “There were substantial legal issues before the court, and Ryan was able to prevail on those matters which led directly to a conviction.”
During the sentencing portion of the case, the mother of the child involved in the case offered a victim impact statement.
This one act, said Lisa Krinke changed the life of her child and their entire family physically and emotionally, adding she still has nightmares about it and gets sick to her stomach when she thinks about what was done to her.
The action, she said, divided a small community, and people in the tight-knit community were forced to take sides.
Krinke said her child loved Eisenbarth as a driver and in many ways considered him like another grandpa.
The family gave him Christmas gifts.
“We trusted him,” said Krinke to the court. “We had no idea he would be the one who would hurt her.”
Krinke wondered if this was really a one-time event, wondering aloud how many other children may have been hurt by him.
Krinke said Jan. 30, 2012 is a day their family will never forget and never get back, and she said she hopes Eisenbarth gets the help he needs to ensure no one is ever hurt by him again.
Page 2 of 2 - When asked if he had anything to say, Eisenbarth said, “no.”
In addition to jail time, Eisenbarth was sentenced to go to sex offender treatment and abide by the recommendations of that treatment and he is not to have any contact with the victim or the victim’s immediate family. A claim of restitution has been filed with the court.
Eisenbarth must register as a predatory offender, and in the future can not access pornography or use technology that would allow access to it.
After sentencing him, Dave Peterson, district court judge, said Eisenbarth abused a trust in the most horrible way possible, adding it is his hope the sentence becomes a deterrent from this ever happening again.