Burglary, criminal sexual conduct charges filed against suspect in series of Minneapolis sexual assaults

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The man police believe to be responsible for a series of sexual assaults near the University of Minnesota's East Bank campus was formally charged Monday.

Sunday afternoon, Minneapolis police said 34-year-old Jory Daniel Wiebrand, of Ham Lake, was arrested on probable cause burglary and probable cause criminal sexual conduct. He has been charged with one count each of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and first-degree burglary.

Police arrest suspect in connection with series of sexual assaults in Southeast Minneapolis

Police said the sexual assaults date back to at least 2013, and the earliest case in Minneapolis was in 2015. The department also released a sketch in March asking for the public's help identifying the man, who they said was believed to have been involved in several sexual assaults and attempted abductions near the U of M campus, particularly in the Marcy-Holmes and Dinkytown neighborhoods.

The department said it is not giving a specific number of attacks or names of other cities in which the assaults occurred, as they are open and active investigations. Police also didn't say what piece of evidence sealed the investigation but pointed to DNA as playing a role, along with victim statements and public tips.

According to a criminal complaint, Minneapolis Police officers were called to a residence on the 700 block of Fourth Street Southeast on a reported sexual assault.

Police working to identify suspect in sexual assaults, abduction attempts near U of M

The victim, who lived at the home, said she had gotten home from work early in the morning and took a shower at around 4 a.m. When she got out of the shower, she walked into her bedroom to get dressed and was attacked by an intruder later identified as Wiebrand.

The complaint states Wiebrand put one hand over the victim's nose and mouth and another across her chest and forced her onto the bed. The complaint alleges that Wiebrand sexually assaulted the woman, and the victim said she recalled him saying, "I'm your worst nightmare." The victim continued to fight and was able to kick him and see her attacker's face, but he then pepper-sprayed her, the complaint states. As the victim continued to fight, the suspect fled her apartment.

According to the complaint, the victim ran to her upstairs neighbor's apartment screaming. Her neighbors helped her and called the police, and she was then taken to a hospital.

The results from the sexual assault examination were tested against a known DNA sample belonging to Wiebrand. The complaint states the results showed Wiebrand couldn't be excluded as a match to the DNA but 99.9992% and 99.99998% of the population were excluded.

Wiebrand has also been linked to nine other sexual assaults, assaults and burglaries between 2013 and 2020 in the same neighborhood. Additional charges are expected.

His preliminary bail was set at $2 million.