A Stillwater man found an 18-year-old woman passed out drunk next to a telephone pole in St. Paul late at night, picked up her limp body and sped away from the neighborhood in his pickup truck back to his home, where he raped her, according to charges.
Jeremiah D. Johnson, 26, was charged in Washington County District Court with kidnapping and third-degree and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct. Johnson appeared in court and remains jailed in lieu of $100,000 bail with conditions.
"Stranger rapes are by far the most difficult to prove in most circumstances," County Attorney Pete Orput said Tuesday in a statement. "Our office will do all in its power to bring justice to the victim."
Under questioning by police, Johnson said he was drawn to the teen because "I always wanted to do an Asian girl," the criminal complaint read. "Now that I pick one up, I get arrested."
According to the complaint:
On Sunday around 12:30 a.m., Johnson found the woman intoxicated and passed out next to a telephone pole at Edgerton Street and Case Avenue near a playground. He got out of his truck and picked her up, with her arms dangling "limp and lifeless," a witness told police.
Johnson put his victim in his truck and "drove away fast [and] almost hit another vehicle," the complaint read, citing a witness account.
With information from another witness about the truck's license plate, St. Paul and Stillwater police officers went to Johnson's apartment 16 miles away in the 1500 block of Greeley Street and found the woman in a common hall. She didn't know where she was and seemed frightened.
The teen acknowledged being intoxicated and said the last thing she remembered was watching fireworks. She said she woke up on a mattress next to a man she didn't know. She was wearing only her bra and underpants.
She said she was concerned that something sexual "may have happened," the complaint quoted her as saying. A sexual assault examination of the woman at Stillwater's Lakeview Hospital found evidence of recent vaginal penetration.
Police knocked on Johnson's door and arrested him. A search by police of the apartment found an unwrapped condom and the wrapper.
Johnson explained to police that he was helping the teen because she had a sprained ankle but that she managed to walk toward the truck with his assistance. He said she vomited from being drunk.
The woman couldn't give him her address, Johnson continued, so he drove her to his place.
At first, he denied any sexual contact with the teen. He then said that he had been drinking and that he did have sex with her, but "she is 18, and there is nothing illegal about that."
Johnson's criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for drunken driving and second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.