A Brooklyn Center man convicted of repeatedly forcing a young Burnsville girl to perform oral sex will spend at least 10 years in prison. The sentence was handed down on Jan. 4, after a lengthy delay.
The case against Primus broke in early May, when Burnsville police were called to a home on a report of criminal sexual conduct involving a young girl, according to the original criminal complaint. The child, who turned 10 in March, told authorities that Primus frequently woke her up in the middle of the night, performed oral sex on her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The abuse the girl occurred for a period of about nine months, starting in early fall of 2011.
Primus pleaded not guilty to the charges, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $40,000 fine. In early August, a jury of eight women and four men delivered a guilty verdict.
Primus' sentencing hearing was originally scheduled for Oct. 23, 2012. However, the hearing was delayed twice by his refusal to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation, which was ordered by Judge David Knudson as a part of the pre-sentence investigation. According to correspondence between probation staff and Primus' lawyer, Carolina Lamas, Primus would not speak to psychologists or participate in the evaluation in any way, based on the belief that he would be forced to admit to commission of the crime.
Since his conviction, Primus has consistently maintained his innocence. He has written several long, handwritten letters to Knudson and Chief Judge Edward Lynch. In one of the more recent letters, titled "new evidence" on Oct. 8, Primus denies any contact with the victim, accuses jail officials of violating his Constitutional rights and keeping him on 23-hour lockdown for 15 days straight.
"These allegations are completely false. I am a preach, Son of God, believer in Jesus Christ," Primus wrote in the letter, which was peppered with Bible verses, like others sent to the justices.
"I beg of you to look at my short 38 years on this earth and see my good works. I have been a blessing and a (sic) asset to my community, family and friends," Primus writes. "No such evil is in me or done by me!"
In a letter filed on Oct. 15, Primus' tone changes dramatically. The defendant writes that Shawn LaJuan Primus is not, in fact, his name, but that he is the agent of a corporate entity named the same.
"I have never 'consented' to these charges, nor were they ever presented to me, the authorized representative...These charges were brought against my corporation or corporate fiction, not me," He writes. "I have not been convicted of this false allegation, crime or charge, nor can be, by Law."
Nevertheless, the Jan. 4 sentencing went forward as planned. Knudson imposed a sentence of 156 months, with the possibility of conditional release after 10 years. He was given credit for 249 days already served in the Dakota County Jail.
As a condition of the sentence, Primus will have supply DNA samples, register as a predatory offender and pay the victim restitution out of his prison wages.
Primus was immediately ordered into the custody of the St. Cloud Correctional Facility.