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Computer glitch at state level creates mix-up in Park Rapids man's conviction records

Charles Edward Hartman (Hubbard County mug shot)

Due to a glitch in Minnesota's automated criminal records, it was erroneously reported last week that a Park Rapids man awaiting extradition to Carver County in a sexual assault case was a convicted sex offender.

Charles Edward Hartment, 56, is technically not a convicted sex offender, said Hubbard County Attorney Don Dearstyne, who acknowledged his office was given the same erroneous information the Enterprise reported. Hartman's conviction was vacated.

Minnesota's automated reporting system, called MNCIS, still listed the error-riddled conviction Tuesday, even though Dearstyne said he had pointed out the error to court administrators.

The MNCIS record indicated the file was closed in 1999.

Dearstyne said the record was so confusing he ended up calling the judge in the 1994 case, in which Hartman went on trial for First Degree Criminal Sexual Conduct.

The judge, according to Dearstyne, said Hartman had indeed served a prison term at St. Cloud, but that his conviction had been vacated on a technicality.

No second trial was held, the judge told Dearstyne.

Hartman was arrested in Park Rapids Aug. 17 on an outstanding warrant from Carver County. He is charged locally with one count of Second Degree and one count of Third Degree DWI, each punishable by a maximum of 1 year and/or a $3,000 fine and Driving After Revocation, which carries a maximum penalty of 90 days and/or a $1,000 fine upon conviction.

In Carver County he is wanted for a sexual assault that occurred in Chanhassen July 5 in which a woman reported a vicious rape that lasted for hours. Hartman had been released on bond for that charge when a warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to show up for a court appointment.