Teenager charged as adult in sexual assault case

A 16-year-old boy who allegedly led multiple sex crimes and robberies near Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis has been charged as an adult. Because of the adult status the 16-year-old faces longer sentences and would be housed with adults in prison. The teenager waived proceedings to certify his age. The boy claimed his was 15 and his grandmother claimed the teenager was 16. When a defendant is 15 years old or younger the state has the burden to demonstrate that the defendant should be tried as an adult. If a defendant is age 16, the burden remains with the defendant.

According to the criminal complaint, the teenage boy allegedly led a group of four teenagers that committed varying assaults against a woman who was cross-country skiing with her children and in a separate incident against two teenage girls. The teenager faces eleven felony counts that include first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. The alleged crimes occurred in November.

The criminal charges say the teenager, who was 15-years-old at the time, stopped the 45-year-old woman who was cross-country skiing in the park with her two children by pointing a gun at the woman. The teenager then demanded money. The woman informed the teenager they did not have any money, and the teenager knocked the woman’s 13-year-old son down with his gun. The teenager then sexually assaulted the woman using his fingers.

On the same day the teenager allegedly led an attack on two teenage girls. The 16-year-old and another teenage boy allegedly robbed the two girls and then tried to rape them in a garage near the park. The 16-year-old faces prison sentences up to 30 years for each of the sex crimes and faces up to 20 years for the robbery and kidnapping counts.

Source: Star Tribune, “Accused ringleader of Powderhorn sex assaults charged as adult,” Abby Simons, 2/9/11

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.