ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 36-year-old St. Paul man was sentenced to 12 years in prison in Ramsey County Court on Wednesday in connection with a sexual assault case involving his then 13-year-old niece.

Jesse Scott Bertoli will begin serving his sentence immediately at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud. He was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct for incidents between May 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011.

According to a criminal complaint, St. Paul Police met with the victim on Aug. 7, 2011, when she was 15 years old, as well as her mother. The victim told police her uncle, Bertoli, had abused her every three weeks for more than two years. The incidents started in Bertoli’s White Bear Lake home in May of 2010, starting with advances, and then it turned into a sexual assault.

He would repeatedly kiss the victim, touch her inappropriately, tell her he loved her and that he wished they were not related. He also repeatedly engaged in multiple sexual acts with the victim, according to the complaint.

Bertoli regularly offered the victim alcohol and marijuana during the incidents.

Bertoli told the victim not to tell anyone about the abuse, but she eventually came forward after her mother suggested that her younger sister babysit Bertoli’s son at his St. Paul home. Investigators started a conversation over Facebook where she claimed to be pregnant, according to the complaint.

He was arrested behind the Mississippi Market in St. Paul.

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