Portions of Lawsuit Filed by Former Wetterling Person of Interest Dismissed

Dan Rassier was named as a person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling case. Danny Heinrich has since confessed to killing Wetterling in 1989. Photo: KSTP
Dan Rassier was named as a person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling case. Danny Heinrich has since confessed to killing Wetterling in 1989.

November 30, 2017 06:38 PM

Portions of a lawsuit filed by a one-time person of interest in the Jacob Wetterling abduction were dismissed Thursday by a federal judge, according to court records.

Daniel Rassier, whose family owns a farm close to where the abduction occurred, field a lawsuit against former Stearns County Sheriff John Sanner, Stearns County and BCA Agent Ken McDonald earlier this spring.

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Initially cleared as a suspect in the case, Rassier was named a person of interest after investigators dug up his farm in 2010 using a search warrant obtained on what the suit claims were fraudulent and illegal means.

RELATED: Former Person of Interest in Wetterling Case Sues Investigators

Rassier's name was cleared following Danny Heinrich's confession that he kidnapped and killed Wetterling. The complaint alleges that Rassier was "publicly accused as an innocent citizen, causing him and his parents great harm."

On Thursday, United States District Judge Donovan Frank dismissed the portions of the lawsuit that claimed the search warrants were obtained by fraudulent or illegal means.

RELATED: Search Warrants Released in Wetterling Case, Man Once a Person of Interest Defends Himself

The judge also dismissed McDonald as a party in the lawsuit.

The court did uphold Rassier's claims of First Amendment retaliation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation, "stemming from Sanner labeling Rassier a person of interest."

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Ben Rodgers

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