A Scanlon man stands accused of multiple counts of sexual assault, as well as kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon.
Dennis Michael St. John Jr., 53, was charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and threats of violence after his arrest Sunday, July 19, according to the criminal complaint.
The Cloquet Police Department received a call from the victim, an adult woman, Sunday morning. She reported she had just escaped the home of St. John, the complaint said. The police department advised the victim to go to a hospital for an examination.
An officer met the victim at the hospital, and she reported she met St. John, with whom she said she had a prior relationship, at Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton on Friday, July 17. Security footage from the casino showed the pair leaving at 10:53 p.m. that night, the complaint said. The pair left the casino about 11 p.m. and went to St. John’s home.
After she entered his home, St. John locked the door and began striking the victim with his fists, the complaint said. He also sexually assaulted her, according to the complaint.
The physical and sexual assaults continued throughout the day Saturday, July 18, and into the morning Sunday, the complaint said. The victim told police she was sexually assaulted “on five to six separate occasions” over approximately 34 hours of captivity, the complaint said.
Sunday morning, the victim saw a door left open, ran to her car and drove away. St. John told the woman he would find her and kill her and her family if she tried to escape, the complaint said. The victim told police St. John forced her to smoke meth and gave her a pill for pain.
The officer taking the victim’s statement noted bruises on her face, arms, hands and legs, the complaint said.
A search warrant was executed at St. John's residence Sunday, and items recovered included clothing the victim told police she left behind.
St. John was arrested, and during a subsequent search, police found a pair of women’s underwear and two knives in his pockets.
Each count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct carries a maximum sentence of 30 years, a $40,000 fine or both. The kidnapping charge could result in a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, a $35,000 fine or both; and the assault charge could result in seven years, a $14,000 fine or both. St. John is also charged with threats of violence, which carries a maximum sentence of five years, a $10,000 fine or both.
St. John is currently being held at the Carlton County Jail and bail was set at $400,000.