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Minneapolis Criminal Law Blog

Rape, sex trafficking increased in Minnesota in 2018

A 2018 Minnesota crime report revealed that though overall violent crimes decreased when compared to 2017, rapes reached their highest level in almost 25 years. The report was released by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.

The Uniform Crime Report for 2018 was released on July 8 and provides a comprehensive look into the crime in Minnesota. In the report, murder, robberies and aggravated assault were down 6.7% as compared to the prior year. The Department of Public Safety commissioner wrote a letter to Gov. Waltz that accompanied the report. The letter detailed that 104 murders occurred in 2018; 25 of these individuals were killed by family members. Property crimes, such as larceny, burglary and arson, also decreased, with a decline of 8.9%. Property crimes make up approximately 90% of all reported crimes.

Minnesota teens charged with murder

Police in Minnesota have charged two boys, aged 15 and 16, in connection with the death of a 39-year-old Maple Grove man on June 11. The Hennepin County Attorney's Office has filed a motion to have the boys certified as adults. The 16-year-old has been charged with two counts of murder in the second degree. Charges against the 15-year-old will only be released if a judge certifies him as an adult. The pair also face burglary, auto theft, and eluding charges in connection with a subsequent incident.

Officers responded to the intersection of Tyler Street NE and 14th Avenue NE in Minneapolis at about 4:49 p.m. after receiving reports of a shooting. Police say that the two boys wore bandanas to conceal their faces and approached a parked car with pistols drawn. The 16-year-old is said to have shot the man behind the wheel several times when he reached for an unidentified item. The driver attempted to flee the scene but crashed after covering only a short distance.

Minnesota man accused of killing his brother

A 28-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with two counts of murder in the second degree in connection with the death of his brother. The Fergus Falls resident faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Prosecutors say that they plan to seek an aggravated sentence in the case because the victim was treated with particular cruelty. The man is now being held without bond at the Northwest Regional Corrections Center. Initial police reports do not provide any indication of why he may have killed his 19-year-old brother.

Police in Polk County were dispatched to the intersection of North Mark Avenue and Eighth Street at approximately 3:44 a.m. after local residents had called to report an altercation. One caller reported seeing an individual attempting to break into a home and another said that a man was throwing items at an unconscious person on the ground. When police arrived at the scene, they found an unresponsive man lying by the curb and another man standing in the roadway with blood on his arms and clothing.

Drake’s Law, felony DWI and prior convictions

If law enforcement arrests you on suspicion of drunk driving and this is your first such experience, you will no doubt resolve to deal with it and get on with your life.

However, if you are a repeat DWI offender in the state of Minnesota, the situation will be considerably more critical, partly because of Drake’s Law.

Former attorney for Stormy Daniels faces multiple charges

Minnesota residents who have been following the legal tribulations of Donald Trump have likely heard of Micheal Avenatti, the lawyer who represented adult star Stormy Daniels in her suit against the president. Avenatti has been charged with aggravated identity theft and fraud for mishandling $300,000 that was intended for Daniels. The money was funneled through a literary agent for Daniels to an account handled by Avenatti. This was done by providing fraudulent documents to the agent that contained a forged signature.

Prosecutors in California also have charged the attorney with bank and wire fraud related to defrauding his clients. In addition to those charges, Avenatti has been charged with extortion and conspiracy to extort by federal prosecutors. In March, he was taken into custody after he threatened to release incriminating information about Nike if the company did not give him $20 million.

Minnesota man charged with murder in girlfriend's death

A 35-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with murder in the second degree in connection with the November 2015 disappearance of his girlfriend. He was convicted of interfering with her body in February 2016 after admitting to police that he had moved her body to an undisclosed location. The man claimed that his girlfriend had taken her own life, but he refused to tell police where he had disposed of her body.

Prosecutors say that the homicide charge was the result of diligent police work and not a breakthrough. Detectives re-interviewed witnesses and examined text records that allegedly reveal that the couple were fighting at the time of her disappearance. One witness is said to have told detectives that she saw the man cleaning plastic sheets at a warehouse where he was once employed. Another allegedly said that he moved a box that looked heavy from the warehouse to a pickup truck that had been rented by his girlfriend.

Minnesota man accused of raping helpless woman

A 27-year-old Minnesota man has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct in the first degree for allegedly raping a mentally impaired woman while she lay helpless on his bathroom floor. Court records reveal that the man's bail has been set at $40,000 and he is being held at the Kandiyohi County Jail. The man made his first appearance before a judge on April 18 and was scheduled to appear in court again on April 29.

The woman, who is disabled and uses a wheelchair, says that she became disorientated and fell in the man's bathroom after agreeing to join him in his apartment to drink beer. She says that she had been acquainted with the man for about a month when the alleged attack occurred on the evening of Jan. 18. The woman says that the man repeatedly made lewd gestures toward her while the pair drank beer before raping her after she became dizzy while visiting the bathroom.

Minnesota man pleads not guilty to attempted murder

A 59-year-old Minnesota man who is accused of shooting a convenience store worker with a rifle has pleaded not guilty to felony counts of attempted murder in the first degree, assault resulting in bodily harm in the first degree and assault with a deadly weapon in the second degree. The charges stem from an incident that took place in a Renville County gas station and convenience store on the morning of Jan. 11.

According to media reports, the man entered the convenience store at about 8:00 a.m. and brandished a rifle. Prosecutors have not speculated about the possible motive for the alleged attack. A male employee suffered a gunshot wound to his hand and neck when he allegedly tried to wrestle the rifle from the man's grasp. While the wound is said to have seriously damaged the worker's hand, it did not prevent him from taking control of the rifle and using it to subdue the man. During the scuffle, the rifle's magazine was released revealing that it contained 11 live rounds.

Minnesota man accused of killing woman and starting fire

A fire in a second-level apartment appears to be an attempt to cover the killing of a woman in Thief River Falls. Authorities have charged a 23-year-old man with second-degree murder and first-degree arson after witnesses linked him to the scene. The criminal complaint against him described an apparent murder because a power cord was wrapped around the woman's neck, and fabric bound her hands and feet. The fire investigator made a preliminary determination that a combustible liquid had been used to start the fire.

The woman's grandmother said that she dropped her granddaughter off at the apartment to visit the man now charged in her death. The grandmother waited outside of the apartment for roughly an hour until she saw smoke. A tenant at the building told police that he had heard fighting in the upstairs apartment earlier in the day.

Feds file felony credit union fraud charge against former CEO

The president and CEO who once stood at the helm of the St. Francis Campus Credit Union in Little Falls has been formally charged with felony credit union fraud by federal prosecutors. Investigators maintain that she embezzled at least $2.5 million. The losses forced the Minnesota Department of Commerce to close the financial institution in February 2014 after the FBI began investigating the credit union.

The federal case against the former executive alleges that she engaged in fraud and embezzlement between June 2006 until she lost her job in January 2014. According to federal prosecutors, she shifted money from the credit union into accounts held by her and friends and relatives who apparently received a portion of the money. She also allegedly made fake loans for credit union members without their knowledge. These fraudulent loans then supplied funds that she allegedly used to hide fictitious deposits, buy checks or remove cash from the credit union.

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