Hastings Woman Pleads Guilty in Connection to Abuse, Endangerment of Daughter

Created: 03/01/2013 10:06 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen

A 24-year-old Hastings woman has pleaded guilty to one count of possession of a pornographic work involving minors and endangerment of a child in connection with the abuse and endangerment of her daughter, the Dakota County Attorney's Office said Friday.

A judge has sentenced Amanda Lee Hughes to 180 days in jail and five years of probation.

Her husband, Mark Matthew Cortes, 24, of Hastings, is charged with one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, use of a minor in a sexual performance or pornographic work and possession of a pornographic work involving minors - all of which are felonies.

Cortes and Hughes, the parents of a 5-year-old girl, lived in Cottage Grove in November 2011 and moved to Hastings in January 2012.

Cortes allegedly sexually abused his daughter and filmed the abuse, which was later distributed to others, the county attorney's office says. He also is alleged to have been in possession of the pornographic work and others involving children. 

According to the county attorney's office, the crimes are alleged to have happened from Nov. 1, 2011 through Oct. 24, 2012.

After federal criminal charges were initiated against Cortes, the state charge of use of a minor in sexual performance/pornographic work was dismissed.  

Prosecutors say further proceedings in the remaining state court counts against Cortes of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and possession of child pornography will take place after his federal charges related to creating child pornography are resolved. 

The federal case against him is set for trial in April in federal court.