A convicted sex offender was charged Tuesday with abducting a woman from her western Minnesota home and raping her, alleged acts that strongly resemble what landed him behind bars a decade earlier.
The 34-year-old woman was kidnapped Sunday as she was taking an afternoon nap with one of her children, setting off a high-speed chase that ended with the suspect’s capture roughly 10 miles from the family’s rural home about 7 miles north of Fergus Falls.
Anthony D. Randklev, 39, of Pelican Rapids, Minn., was charged in Otter Tail County District Court with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, burglary, weapons possession, false imprisonment and fleeing police. Randklev remained jailed ahead of a court appearance later Tuesday.
Randklev was sentenced for a kidnapping and assault in 2007 in Fergus Falls. In that case, he put a mask over his victim’s face, drove the woman into the woods, threatened her with a saw and raped her. He was arrested after a high-speed chase in that case as well.
He entered prison in October 2008 and went on intensive supervised release about three years later. But various offenses had him in and out of prison until finishing his term on June 21 of this year.
The woman targeted Sunday told a detective that Randklev awakened her, threatened to kill her family and dragged his struggling captive out the back through a sliding-glass door, tied her hands together and put a cover over her head, according to the criminal complaint.
He drove her to an abandoned house on County Road 24, ordered her to undress and raped her at gunpoint, the complaint continued.
Tuesday’s charges also spelled out how the law enforcement dragnet captured Randklev:
The couple’s three boys, all under age 10, told sheriff’s deputies that a masked man with a shotgun sneaked through a basement window and asked where their mother was.
The man took their mother into the woods northwest of the home, a location where the children saw a pickup truck parked among the trees. A deputy spotted matted-down footprints leading to fresh tire tracks that stretched to County Road 27.
The woman’s husband told the deputy that a man later believed to be Randklev showed up at their house the previous night asking for gasoline to get back to Fergus Falls. The husband gave the man gas but also found it odd when he noticed the gauge showed he had enough to reach his destination.
Less than three hours after the abduction, someone alerted 911 that a pickup matching the one driven by the suspect was seen leaving abandoned farm property along nearby County Road 24.
Officers later spotted the pickup at a Pelican Rapids gas station, setting off a chase that topped 90 mph at times. The pickup got stuck in a swamp, and officers fired shots before they cuffed Randklev and brought the woman to safety.
The incident comes as the state is changing its approach to dangerous sex offenders. Minnesota operates a separate system known as civil commitment, in which hundreds of men who have committed violent sex crimes are confined indefinitely in prisonlike treatment centers after completing their prison sentences.
Thomas R. Duvall, one of the most violent sex offenders in state history, last week won a Court of Appeals ruling moving him one step closer to freedom after more than 30 years in civil commitment for a series of brutal rapes of teenage girls.