A former Minnesota sheriff’s deputy will spend 8 years in prison after being sentenced for attempting to meet a 15-year-old girl—actually a Rice Lake Police officer—for sex in April 2018.
Jeffrey J. Masek was sentenced on Aug. 15 in Barron County Circuit Court for child enticement and attempted second degree assault of a child.
Masek, 61, had a law enforcement badge in his wallet the night he was arrested. He was a deputy for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Department in Minnesota at the time.
Before the court hearing began, Masek grasped hands with two pastors from his church and hugged his wife.
He would not touch them again.
“Jeffery Masek crossed the line from fantasy to reality when he got into his car and drove to Rice Lake,” Judge James Bitney said.
Police had discovered role-playing chats on Masek’s phone involving the fantasy of having sex with a daughter or granddaughter. Masek has no children or grandchildren.
Before sentencing, Masek told the court he was sorry and stated, “I thought I was above the law and I wasn’t. I was well below the law.”
Since being arrested, he has found faith and has witnessed a plethora of miracles, including marrying his wife two weeks ago, he said.
Masek read Romans 12:21 to the court: Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
That is what I’ve been doing, he said.
His supporters spoke to his transformation and asked the judge for mercy.
Masek’s attorney, Eric Nelson, stated his client had a support system he’d been lacking and was a low risk for reoffending, and that the public would be protected by putting Masek on probation that included internet monitoring.
Assistant District Attorney John O’Boyle asked for two 4-year confinement sentences—followed by probation—to be served consecutively because Masek had attempted to text with who he thought was a 15-year-old for nearly a month, often not being replied to.
Bitney described Masek’s text messages as being hard to read due to their graphic nature.
Messages referenced a slang term describing unprotected sexual intercourse and included his statement, “I will treat this like a fun sex education night.”
Bitney said he took into consideration the read-in charge of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, which carries a 5-year minimum sentence upon conviction.
“The sexual exploitation of children is only a mouse click or two away,” the judge said.
For child enticement, Masek was sentenced to 6 years in prison consisting of 3 years initial confinement and 3 years probation.
For attempted second degree sexual assault of a child, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison consisting of 5 years initial confinement and 5 years probation.
The sentences will be served consecutively, meaning Masek will be incarcerated for 8 years and then spend 8 years on probation. He was given 11 days of jail credit.
Upon release, Masek will not be allowed unsupervised contact with females under age 18, and he is required to register as a sex offender for life.
Masek is the ninth man to be sentenced as part of Rice Lake Police Department’s sex sting operations that began in February 2018. The investigations led to charges against 14 men.
Of the six men who have been sentenced on plea deals, Masek’s is the longest by 3 years.
Masek pleaded guilty in March and has been the only man to be sentenced to consecutive sentences.