A Scanlon man is facing life in prison after being indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts of sexual assault Friday, Oct. 23.

Dennis Michael St. John, 53, was indicted on three counts of criminal sexual conduct with heinous elements and a charge of kidnapping. The criminal sexual conduct with heinous elements charges carries a life sentence without possibility of release, according to Carlton County Attorney Lauri Ketola.

Dennis Michael St. John Jr.
Dennis Michael St. John Jr.

According to the criminal complaint, the Cloquet Police Department received a call from the victim, an adult woman, on the morning of July 19. She reported she had just escaped the home of St. John, and the CPD 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 July 17. Security footage from the casino showed the pair leaving at 10:53 p.m. that night, the complaint said.

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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 July 18 and into the morning of July 19, 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.

The morning of July 19, 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 July 19, 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.

St. John has been in custody at the Carlton County Jail since his July arrest. His bail is set at $1 million. He is next scheduled to appear for an omnibus hearing before Judge Rebekka Stumme at 1:30 p.m. Nov. 6 at the Carlton County Courthouse.