Man admits to attempted kidnapping
RED WING - If Ross Wenner had gotten his hands on a Cannon Falls girl, he would have kidnapped and harmed her. That's what the Kenyon man admitted Friday in Goodhue County District Court. "It just really doesn't get much more scary," said Assista...
RED WING - If Ross Wenner had gotten his hands on a Cannon Falls girl, he would have kidnapped and harmed her.
That's what the Kenyon man admitted Friday in Goodhue County District Court.
"It just really doesn't get much more scary," said Assistant Goodhue County Attorney Chris Schrader.
Wenner, 27, pleaded guilty Friday to attempted kidnapping, a felony for which he agreed to serve nearly three years in prison.
That sentence will likely run alongside a 12 1/2-year prison term reached through plea agreement for a Scott County sexual offense, First District Judge Martha Simonett said.
Initial reports that a suspect had enticed the Cannon Falls girl to enter his vehicle mushroomed July 11, 2007, when similar accusations came in from neighboring Minnesota counties. Wenner was the suspect in abduction attempts in Northfield and Lakeville that same day.
Allegations continued to pile up on Wenner as the multi-jurisdictional investigation continued. DNA tests taken after his arrest led to his conviction in a 2006 case, in which he stormed into an Elko New Market, Minn., home and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl.
According to a Scott County criminal complaint, Wenner, a stranger to the victim, forced his way into the house with a gun. He then chased the girl into her bedroom, where he held the gun to her head, covered her eyes with a bandana and assaulted her.
The girl escaped by jumping out a second-story window. The case went unsolved for nearly a year, when the victim recognized his photo in a local newspaper following the 2007 kidnapping attempts.
DNA from evidence Wenner left behind in Elko New Market matched a sample taken after his arrest in the 2007 cases. He pleaded guilty in April to first-degree burglary and second-degree criminal sexual conduct in the 2006 case.
"It's very fortunate to get all these taken care of and see that he's going away for a substantial period of time," said Schrader, who prosecuted the Cannon Falls case.
During court Friday, Wenner admitted that he got out of his vehicle and approached the young girl near Rapp's Short Stop in Cannon Falls. He confirmed asking if the girl, who was younger than 16, would go "cruising" with him, but she refused.
He then told her to put her bike down and to get into his Jeep Cherokee. Instead, she ran away.
After the victim's aunt alerted authorities, officers learned of the other abduction attempts. All three transpired within a two-hour period of time.
Lakeville police arrested Wenner, identified by the Cannon Falls girl and another witness through photographs.
During testimony Friday, Wenner admitted that his intention was to do great bodily harm or terrorize the victim. Schrader said Wenner's prior convictions included felony assault and receiving stolen property.
He will be sentenced July 29 in Shakopee, Minn.