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Louis Richard Oliver

, Iowa Department of Corrections

Registered sex offender facing new assault charge in Minneapolis attack

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH
  • Star Tribune
  • December 5, 2012 - 8:04 PM

A registered sex offender was charged in last month's attack and robbery of a college student who was walking before dawn near her Minneapolis campus, according to a criminal complaint.

Louis R. Oliver, 47, of Hastings, was scheduled to appear Tuesday afternoon in Hennepin County District Court on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the stranger attack on Nov. 19. It happened near West River Parkway and 27th Avenue S., close to St. Catherine University's campus.

Oliver's arrest came after security officers at Regions Hospital in St. Paul received a complaint Nov. 27 that a suspicious man was approaching women in the parking ramp and asking them for jumper cables for his car, according to the criminal complaint.

A Ramsey County deputy assisting hospital security recognized Oliver as the man in a sketch released by Minneapolis police in connection with the sexual assault, the complaint said.

According to the complaint:

Oliver approached the woman, asked her for money and grabbed her arm. Saying he had a gun, Oliver led the woman to a trail in a wooded area of Riverside Park. He robbed her of her cash, backpack and wallet. He then stripped her from the waist down and digitally penetrated her. He also hit her in the face.

The woman fled just as he told her they were going to an ATM for money.

Oliver denied attacking the college student, but his contention that he was at work at the time was not backed up by his employer, the complaint said.

Minneapolis police Sgt. Stephen McCarty said that Oliver is a Level II sex offender. Level III is legally considered the most likely to re-offend. Oliver has one sex-related conviction in Minneapolis from the 1990s and another in Black Hawk County, Iowa, McCarty said.

The Minnesota Department of Corrections said Oliver has served time for felony aggravated robbery in Black Hawk County. In March 1998, he asked a woman for help with his car, pointed a gun at her and demanded money. She fled without being harmed. Oliver then went to the apartment of another woman and attempted to sexually assault her, according to the department.

Oliver's Iowa criminal history also includes serving prison time for first-degree theft, first-degree burglary, sexual assault and being a habitual offender.

His criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for felony auto theft and misdemeanor domestic abuse.

Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482

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