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A 35-year-old southeastern Minnesota man has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for producing child pornography in what Minnesota’s top federal prosecutor calls “one of the most egregious cases of child sexual abuse” her office has pursued.

Ryan T. Feine’s sentence Monday in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis also includes an additional 20 years of supervision should he live long enough to leave prison, along with paying restitution to his victims.

In sentencing Feine, Chief Judge John R. Tunheim described the Winona man’s crimes “certainly horrendous [and] among the worst I’ve ever seen.”

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald echoed the judge’s sentiments, saying, “This is one of the most egregious cases of child sexual abuse my office has prosecuted. We will never shy away from difficult cases such as this, we are committed to pursuing justice for innocent children.”

Feine’s defense argued in a presentence filing for the statutory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison, pointing out that he had no prior criminal history, is receptive to treatment and accepted responsibility for his crimes, and “is greatly ashamed and remorseful.”

Attorney Jordan Kushner went on to brand sentencing guidelines for sex crimes involving children as “astronomical ... do not appear to be driven by rational thinking and lack an empirical basis.” In Feine’s case, the prosecution was pushing for 50 years in prison, 10 years short of the maximum allowed.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and federal court documents:

For seven months in 2013, Feine created numerous videos involving a girl less than a year old and a 5-year-old boy. Law enforcement learned of Feine’s actions in 2018, and a search of his electronic devices revealed more than 1,000 images and 150 videos of child pornography.

The National Center for Missing or Exploited Children then verified that Feine was the creator of a pornography series that has been distributed across the nation.

Feine pleaded guilty in October to two counts of producing child pornography.

The allegations involving the baby also have Feine scheduled to appear in Winona County District Court next week on a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge that was filed in August.

His federal case attorney has asked that any sentence at the state level be served concurrently with his federal prison time and that he receive credit for the time served since his arrest in August.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482