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Washington man faces additional charges without leaving Nobles County jail


WORTHINGTON — Additional charges were filed late last week against a Washington man who has been incarcerated at the Nobles County Jail since being held on criminal sexual conduct, drug sale and motor vehicle theft charges.

Benjamin Spanbauer, 35, of Spokane, Wash. faces 11 counts of violating an order for protection and two counts of attempted violation of protection order, all misdemeanors, after allegedly contacting a protected individual on another inmate’s texting device and by phone calls. Spanbauer has been incarcerated since Aug. 17.

According to the criminal complaint, a protected woman reported that she had been repeatedly contacted by whom she believed to be Spanbauer. The number attached to the text messages was from another inmate at the Nobles County Jail, who allegedly admitted to law enforcement he’d lent Spanbauer his texting device but didn’t realize that he’d use it to send text messages.  

The complaint details numerous text messages and phone conversations that include Spanbauer repeatedly requesting the individual rescind the restraining order, asking her to testify and to talk to the prosecutor and get the charges dropped. Some of the messages include graphic details pertaining to the alleged sexual assault.

The individual was granted an emergency protection order on Aug. 17. A temporary one was granted Aug. 23, which detailed some minimal exceptions.

His conditional bail was set at $10,000.