New Ulm police investigator arrested, charged with sexual assault of child

A New Ulm Police Department investigator has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a child.

Eric Alan Gramentz, 42, is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a victim under 13 years of age and one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

New Ulm Police Chief Dave Borchert told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Gramentz is currently on leave from the department.

A criminal complaint states the Brown County Sheriff’s Office started investigating Gramentz on Monday, a day after the victim told an adult that Gramentz had touched her when she was 11 or 12 years old. The complaint notes that the adult then confronted Gramentz, who said he’d turn himself in to law enforcement.

He was arrested Monday and booked in the Waseca County Jail early Tuesday morning to avoid any conflict of interest, the sheriff’s office says.

According to the complaint, Gramentz admitted to telling the victim — who was experiencing stomach problems — that masturbation would help with the pain and then touched the victim while “coaching” the victim through masturbation. He told investigators he did that multiple times over a two-month span.

The victim also spoke to investigators and confirmed that story, saying Gramentz touched her “private parts” more than once, the complaint states. She added that Gramentz had told her not to tell anyone.

Additionally, she recalled waking up one time and finding Gramentz’s penis on her hand.

The complaint states investigators talked with Gramentz again after talking to the victim and he implied that his interactions with the victim became about him because it was risky and “something different” sexually. He also allegedly told investigators he knew he needed to stop what he was doing.

If convicted, a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. Second-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Gramentz’s preliminary bail was set at $500,000 without conditions, $300,000 with conditions or $40,000 cash with conditions. His initial court appearance is set for April 11.

The sheriff’s office and Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension are still investigating the case.