A Ham Lake man accused of stalking and attacking young women in the Twin Cities area over a span of years has been charged in four new cases, bringing the total number of criminal complaints against Jory Wiebrand to nine.
Thursday’s charges include a March 1 assault, when Wiebrand allegedly jumped a Minneapolis woman from behind as she took out the recycling.
Wiebrand grabbed the woman and forced his hand over her mouth, but then fled after she started screaming and fell. She called 911; police were able to swab her face and collect his DNA.
Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman charged Wiebrand with one count each of first degree criminal sexual conduct, criminal sexual predatory conduct and false imprisonment-intentional restraint in that attack.
That assault is the most recent that has been disclosed, but charges are still expected in at least one more incident.
Police and prosectors have said that Wiebrand, 34, is a suspect in a string of 10 sexual assaults, assaults, prowlings and break-ins since 2013, mostly the Marcy-Holmes neighborhood of Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota but also in Anoka County.
All of the victims were young women in their teens or twenties whom Wiebrand appeared to monitor before attacking, police said. Some were students at the University of Minnesota. He frequently used pepper spray on his victims.
One of his alleged victims, Brooke Morath, was featured in the Star Tribune 2018 series “Denied Justice.” Morath was a student at the U in 2015 when Wiebrand allegedly raped her as she brushed snow off her car in a Dinkytown parking lot. The newspaper’s series documented systemic failures in the criminal justice system’s handling of sexual assault cases.
Wiebrand eluded detection for years. He was finally arrested April 17, the same day Minneapolis police executed a search warrant for his DNA at his Ham Lake home, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Wiebrand remains in Hennepin County jail awaiting his next court date, with bail amounts ranging from $30,000 to $2 million in the different cases.
Officers executing the search warrant at Wiebrand’s home in April found an identification card that led them to another alleged victim.
When police contacted the young woman about the ID card, she told them she did not know Wiebrand and that a man fitting his basic description had been stalking her throughout much of 2019, according to the complaint. She had moved twice because of it, she said.
Just days after she moved out of one Marcy-Holmes apartment building last year, Wiebrand allegedly attacked another woman in the same building, stealing in through an unlatched window, according to the complaint.
Prosecutors charged Wiebrand Thursday with stalking and aggravated stalking involving the woman whose ID was found at his house.
He was also charged Thursday with attempted first-degree criminal sexual conduct related to an incident Feb. 8, 2019, when he allegedly attacked a young woman near a bus stop in the 600 block of SE. 8th Street.
In that incident, the woman told police she noticed Wiebrand walking toward her, but “didn’t want to be judgmental, so she looked away,” before he grabbed her from behind and dragged her into a nearby wooded area. Wiebrand allegedly threw her on the ground and groped her over her clothing, but fled when a neighbor came outside, according to the criminal complaint.
Police say that Wiebrand’s DNA was found on a bloody napkin she used to clean her wounds after the attack, as well as on the victim’s clothing.
The fourth set of charges filed Thursday stem from a foiled attack from Sept. 12, 2019. A young woman told officers she was warming up her car in the parking lot on the 600 block of SE. 10th Avenue in Minneapolis when a man threw open the door, covered her mouth and tried to force her into the back seat. He fled after she started screaming and honking the horn. DNA matching Wiebrand was found on the victim’s face.
Prosecutors charged Wiebrand with one count each of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, criminal sexual predatory conduct and false imprisonment in that incident.
Wiebrand is also considered a suspect in a 2013 assault and robbery in Anoka County, an active case in which no criminal charges have yet been filed.
The victim, a 17-year-old woman, was walking in Bunker Hills Park in Andover checking her cellphone when she heard someone running up behind her, according to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. A man grabbed her, dragged her into the woods and threatened to kill her if she screamed. The woman was assaulted, but not sexually, and robbed.
The victim described her attacker as a slender white man about 6 feet tall, in his early 30s, with dark hair and a scruffy unshaven look.