Weather Forecast


Cloquet man asks for speedy trial in criminal sex case

A Cloquet man who stabbed himself in the chest three times when law enforcement tried to serve him with a warrant in the Bemidji area has been charged with criminal sexual conduct.

Wendell Lee Olson, 44, was charged in Carlton County Court with third-degree felony criminal sexual conduct, because he allegedly engaged in sexual penetration with a person who was between the ages of 13 and 16 years old.

According to the criminal complaint:

On Oct. 15, 2013, a Cloquet Police detective and a child protection officer responded to Cloquet High School to speak with a 15-year-old girl, who was pregnant. The unidentified girl said she’d had sexual intercourse with her mother’s live-in boyfriend, identified as Olson, that she was pregnant and he was the father. At that time, she had not told her mother she was pregnant or about her sexual encounter with Olson.

The juvenile girl then missed school for a number of days. When she returned, the detective followed up with her and told her again that she needed to tell her mother. When she missed more school the last week of October, she told the detective and child protection officer it was because Olson had left and she and her mother had gone to the Minneapolis area to look for him.

Since then, according to the criminal complaint, the baby has been born and DNA samples were collected for comparison with the defendant’s DNA.

A warrant was issued for Olson Jan. 27 and police discovered the next day he was staying at a Bemidji-area residence. However, when sheriff’s investigators and Bureau of Criminal Apprehension agents arrived at the home two miles west of Bemidji, Olson barricaded himself in a bedroom and stabbed himself with a steak knife three times in the chest, according to Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp.

Officers said they heard the sound of a gun being readied for firing and called for additional back-up officers, according to a release issued from the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office. While additional officers were responding to the scene, investigators and agents were able to talk Olson into surrendering.

“We’re glad nobody else in the house was hurt in the incident,” Hodapp said.

Olson was transported to Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, then flown to Sanford in Fargo for additional treatment of his self-inflicted wounds.

A second man, Virgil Lee Roy, 46, of Bemidji was arrested on theft charges out of Beltrami and Becker counties. The Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office said Olson was a guest at Roy’s residence.

Olson appeared in Carlton County Court for a bail hearing (bail was set at $6,000) and statement of rights Feb. 11, and made his initial appearance with public defender Joanna Wiegert Feb. 19.

Assistant Carlton County Attorney Jeffrey Boucher said Olson requested a speedy trial at his hearing Monday, March 10. A jury trial is set for May 12.