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The brother of a man acquitted in the highly publicized 1992 disappearance of a 5-year-old Inver Grove Heights girl faces 18 months in prison and 15 years of probation following conviction for sex crimes involving a minor in his care. A Washington County court sentenced Jerry Guevara Jr., 53, Woodbury, Monday, July 31, on two felony third-degree criminal sexual conduct charges stemming from a nearly 15-year sexual relationship that led to the birth of six children. The mother would have been 16 when the first child was born.
A motorist crashed her car in a southeastern Cottage Grove ditch in the early hours of Sunday, July 30 after allegedly leading police in a vehicle chase with speeds exceeding 90 miles per hour. Police identified the driver as Jacqueline Mazzitello, 39 of Cottage Grove. She was booked in Washington County jail on pending charges of felony fleeing police in a vehicle, fourth-degree DWI and driving with revoked license.
About a half-dozen "NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY" signs greet beachgoers from the parking lot to the swimming beach at Carver Lake Park. Woodbury Parks and Recreation Director Bob Klatt said the signs are among the city's efforts to prevent tragedies like the death of Kendrick Jordan, Jr., the 5-year-old St. Paul Park boy who drowned in the lake July 8.
A Woodbury man will serve 90 days work release for a felony domestic assault charge after he was accused in February of forcefully entering a woman's home, beating her and sexually assaulting her. A Washington County district court on July 26 convicted Tobis Antoine Williams, 45, for the assault charge— one of three Williams faced, including first-degree burglary and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. The burglary and criminal sexual conduct charges were dismissed.
Woodbury police received at least two-dozen reports recently from local child care providers who received a threatening letter authorities believe to be a scam. According to a statement on the Woodbury Public Safety website, the letters say a child returned home from the day care with injuries that point to sexual abuse. The sender demands payments through bitcoins, a digital currency, threatening to report a crime to the police. The letters and return address appear to be real.
The checkpoint at the Washington County Government Center will undergo safety improvements that Sheriff Dan Starry said will benefit both visitors and employees thanks to a recent state grant. The building houses the county's Department of Corrections and 10th Judicial District Court. Washington County received $6,600 from the Safe and Secure Courthouse Initiative, which split a million-dollar grant announced in June among 57 Minnesota counties to fund additional safety measures.
A Winona man accused of raping a woman at a Woodbury hotel was sentenced to 172 months, or about 14 years, in prison in a Washington County court July 14. Nicholas Sean Perkins, 23, of Winona, was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in February. The charges stem from an incident in September 2016 in which a woman told police Perkins sexually assaulted her in the hotel courtyard. According to a criminal complaint filed in Washington County, the victim was staying at the hotel with her husband.
A Brooklyn Park man will serve eight years in prison for his role in trafficking two women for commercial sex at a Woodbury hotel. A Washington County judge convicted Tyree Erik Jones, 23, of aiding and abetting the sex trafficking of an individual July 14. Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of the felony crime earlier this month.
A New Richmond man accused of kidnapping two women at gunpoint will serve three years in prison for kidnapping two women at gunpoint in Afton last summer. A Washington County district judge convicted James Lauck, 37, of second-degree assault with a firearm June 12— one of five felonies Lauck faced, including kidnapping with a firearm, two counts of terroristic threats with a firearm and an additional second-degree assault charge. Police arrested Lauck last August while responding to a possible hostage situation at an Afton home last August.
Former Department of Defense official and Army veteran Dan Feehan announced his run for Minnesota's first congressional district July 11. The Red Wing native will join a pool of four candidates — three fellow Democrats and one Republican — hoping to secure votes for the state's southernmost district during the 2018 U.S. House race. Democrat Rep. Tim Walz, who currently represents the district, announced his candidacy for governor in March.