9/26/2019 2:40:00 PM Zemlin sentenced for three counts
of porn possession
A trio of felonies arising from a special BCA investigation into child Internet pornography, resulted in a former local public school teacher being sentenced September 18 to 90 days.
Robert Bruce Zemlin, 48, had entered a guilty plea in June to three felony counts of possessing pornographic images, computer disks, etc. based on seizure of evidence at his Lindstrom home in 2018.
Zemlin’s computer address had been flagged during a Twin Cities-based Internet investigation involving the MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
Zemlin’s attorney Steven Wolter told District Judge Robert Rancourt that Zemlin has moved out of Lindstrom, after resigning from Chisago Lakes Schools as an elementary school teacher. Wolter said Zemlin has been assessed by doctors and is not “attracted” to children. His attorney described viewing of videos and still images as “escapism.”
Wolter also argued for his client to be allowed to spend time with a minor-aged son, even though the usual guidelines would require there be no contact with children. This exemption was granted.
Wolter explained that Zemlin is compliant with what the court has ordered, has worked cooperatively on his pre-sentencing conditions, “...doing what he can” to get help and his doctor concluded there is little risk of a re-offense. A psycho-sexual evaluation done as part of the PSI shows no propensity beyond simply viewing images, the attorney pointed out. Zemlin told the judge that being arrested has made it possible for him to seek help.
Zemlin is newly employed and settled in a metro area suburb-- so Judge Rancourt granted a request to serve his sentence in Hennepin County instead of St. Cloud Correctional Facility.
The 90 days is concurrent with two additional felony counts of child pornography possession that Zemlin pleaded guilty to. On the other two counts he is on 10 years’ probation. If he fails terms of probation he faces a 20 month sentence and a 25 month sentence-- that are stayed for now.
For count one, after the 90 days he is on five years’ probation and there is a 15 month stayed sentence that goes away if he successfully completes this probation. There are three $300 fines, for a total of $900. He will attend sexual offender treatment, he must use tracking software for any allowed Internet use, he can not own a firearm for the remainder of his life and work release is authorized. Zemlin reports to jail in 30 days.