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Luverne man violates OFP in crim sex case

LUVERNE -- Leo Swenson of Luverne is back in jail after allegedly violating an order for protection filed by his adopted daughter. He allegedly attempted to contact the woman by phone through a third party.

Swenson, 76, of Luverne, was charged in October 2008 with first- and third-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly having sexual contact with his adopted daughter from the time she was 13 years old until she left home in October at age 31.

The complaint states the woman left after an argument over car insurance. Swenson had contacted authorities after she left the house, but she told authorities she was in contact with family services and requesting an order for protection.

The victim told authorities she had been sexually assaulted by Swenson and had been having intercourse with him for years. She indicated Swenson had never used protection and was the father of her two children, ages 9 and 13.

During an interview, Swenson did not specifically recall details of having intercourse with the victim, but did not deny he could be the father of her children, even indicating there were no other likely fathers.

After his arrest, bail was set at $30,000 with the condition he not make contact with the victim, but after contacting her through a third party, Swenson was sent back to jail and is currently being held in the Nobles County Jail without bail.

The judge said he would be willing to revisit the issue after Swenson had undergone psychiatric evaluation, according to Jeff Haubrich, Rock County Assistant Attorney.

During a hearing in October, Judge Timothy Connell had questioned Swenson himself, making sure he understood he was to have no contact with his adopted daughter. Swenson indicated at the time he understood. His attorney Daniel Birkholz assured the judge he had discussed the situation with his client to make sure the consequences of violating the order for protection were clear.