The man police believe to be responsible for numerous sexual assaults in Minneapolis is in custody and facing his first set of criminal charges for alleged attacks in summer 2019.
Jory Wiebrand, a 34-year-old resident of Ham Lake with virtually no criminal history, was charged Monday with two counts of criminal sexual conduct, and is "linked to nine other sexual assaults, assaults, and burglaries occurring between 2013 and 2020," with offenses committed in both Minneapolis and in Anoka County, according to criminal complaints.
“Until last week, Mr. Wiebrand’s DNA was not on file with any police agency, so developing a fingerprint and getting a match from an earlier, unrelated arrest allowed police to identify him as a suspect and seek a search warrant to obtain his DNA," Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Monday. "While we need to prove his guilt in court, if we are successful, we will seek an enhanced sentence so he will be unable to terrorize women for a long time.”
According to charges, a woman fell asleep on the couch in her Marcy-Holmes neighborhood home one night in June 2019. She woke to Wiebrand's hand on her neck and covering her mouth. She "struggled" against him, and he ran out the front door, leaving with the victim's wallet.?
Police found a garbage can pushed up next to a window, which was then broken to gain entry to the home. A fingerprint from the glass was later found to match Wiebrand, who allegedly confessed to breaking into the residence but denied assaulting the victim.
Roughly two months later, a woman who lived a few blocks away had finished a work shift and showered around 4:00 a.m. when she walked into her bedroom. Wiebrand was waiting, according to charges, and forced the woman facedown onto her bed, penetrating her vagina with his fingers and saying, "I'm your worst nightmare."
The woman flipped over and kicked her attacker, who pepper sprayed her, then escaped from the apartment. A neighbor called police, who later found chairs stacked under an "unlatched window."?DNA samples obtained from the victim would rule out 99.99998 percent of the population, but not Wiebrand, who also fit the description the victim gave of her attacker.
Wiebrand's entire criminal history in Minnesota consists of driving without insurance and speeding tickets, according to court records.?
For the first break-in, Wiebrand is charged with criminal sexual predatory conduct, a felony which carries a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine, and first-degree burglary. The second criminal complaint accused Wiebrand of first degree criminal sexual conduct, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or a $40,000 fine, and first-degree burglary.?
Freeman said his office expects to file additional charges against Wiebrand as soon as later this week.