STILLWATER, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A man who pleaded guilty to an incident that involved holding 11 people hostage and sexually assaulting four teenage girls at gunpoint in a Washington County motel room has been sentenced to 36 years in prison.

Demetrius Ballinger was initially charged with 27 felonies, but earlier pleaded guilty to four felonies.

The sentence Ballinger received was the sentence that prosecutors asked for.

“Very seldom do we see a case where so many innocents are victimized in such a cruel manner. The severity of this sentence recognizes that and we are pleased to finally be able to bring closure to the victims of these heinous acts,” said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput.

Ballinger, five other adults and six juveniles were in a room at the Red Roof Inn in Woodbury in August 2012 when Ballinger pulled out a gun, threatening to shoot everyone and ordering them to hand over their money and cellphones.

After police arrived, a 19-year-old hostage, Mark Henderson, tried to escape. Ballinger shot at him. Officers heard that gunshot as the door opened and fired, believing Henderson was armed.

He was not, and died at a local hospital.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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