A New Brighton psychiatrist charged with sexually assaulting one of his patients pleaded guilty to one count of criminal sexual conduct Monday in Hennepin County District Court.

Thomas Folsom, 53, admitted to having sex with the patient and calling it therapy. He had been charged with four counts of criminal sexual conduct in the third degree; three of the charges were dropped.

According to the charges, the patient said Folsom told her that he was doing her a favor by engaging in sex with her and that she gradually became emotionally dependent on him. She also said she was led to believe it would be difficult for her to find someone to marry if she did not engage in sex acts with Folsom.

The patient began seeing Folsom two to three times a week in 1999 for depression and eating disorders. By May 2002, she was seeing him daily. When the patient's father became concerned after she had been charged about $77,000, Folsom said he would continue working with her for free.

Prosecuting attorney Theresa Galatowitsch said she will ask for the maximum sentence of 48 months. Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 11.


Three fake fire calls this month in Linden Hills test the patience of Minneapolis firefighters

Three times this month, somebody has called 911 to report that a house in Minneapolis' Linden Hills neighborhood was on fire. Three times, fire crews arrived only to find that the calls were false alarms.

In two of the cases, the prank caller gave the same address of a house on the 3900 block of Thomas Avenue S. Another time, the caller gave the address of the house across the street. In all three cases, the caller said that flames were coming out of the house and that people were trapped inside. In all three cases, there was no fire.

"It's been a big nuisance," said Sgt. Sean McKenna. "We dispatch 10 fire companies, three engines, two ladders, rescue squads and two chief officers, that's 25, 30 people."

The first call came in the evening of July 5. In that case and in two since, crews arrived prepared for the real thing, only to knock on doors and wake up sleeping families with young children. The latest fake call came in about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

Officials have no idea who is behind the calls but say that they believe a man is using a cell phone to call 911. Efforts to trace the calls have proved unsuccessful. Anybody with information is asked to call 612-673-2549.


Stearns County man dies after fall inside silo

A man from rural Melrose, Minn., died Saturday of injuries suffered when he fell while working inside a silo, the Stearns County sheriff said.

Norman Joseph Wieling, 66, was working on a silo unloader about 11:45 a.m. Saturday when he fell down the chute and hit a door, said Sheriff John Sanner. Wieling was pronounced dead at Melrose Hospital.


Shakopee man testing motorcycle dies in crash

A Shakopee man who took a motorcycle out for a test drive crashed in Sherburne County and died early Sunday, authorities said Monday.

Craig Bjorklund, 30, left a home in Clear Lake Township about 2 a.m. Sunday on the motorcycle. When he failed to return, the motorcycle's owners contacted law enforcement.

A sheriff's deputy found Bjorklund dead a couple of miles from the home. He had crashed after apparently failing to negotiate a curve in the road.


For guest, wedding reception lacked romance

A weekend wedding in Albert Lea, Minn., turned out to be as memorable for one guest as it was for the bride and groom, but not in a good way.

Police say Robin Lilla, 33, of Winona was stabbed or slashed when a fight broke out Saturday night at the reception, which was being held in a downtown parking lot.

Chief Dwaine Winkels says Lilla was treated at a local hospital and released. No one was arrested as a result of the brawl, but Winkels says officers did arrest another reception guest on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.