Authorities on Tuesday began the long work of clearing up a backlog of charges against Ross M. Wenner, an alleged sexual predator of young girls in four Minnesota counties.
In Dakota County District Court Tuesday, Wenner, 26, pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, felony harassment and soliciting a 12-year-old girl for sexual activity in Lakeville last summer.
Judge William Thuet then ordered Wenner to be released to Scott County, where he faces first-degree burglary and criminal sexual conduct charges for allegedly raping another 12-year-old girl in 2006.
He also is charged in Rice and Goodhue counties in attempted abduction cases involving girls 14 and younger.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said that Scott County deputies were expected to take Wenner to the county jail in Shakopee by today.
"We're going to ensure that there will be a warrant issued for him to return here," he said. "He will have high bail on him in Scott County, and he will have a significant amount of jail placed on him in that case. ... I fully expect him to go to prison in our case, and we'll let the other cases run their course."
Wenner was arrested in July after police said he tried to coax a 12-year-old Lakeville girl into his car. The girl ran to a relative's home and called police. A short time later, police spotted a sport-utility vehicle matching the one described by the girl.
Police learned that the vehicle also matched the description of one used in three attempted abductions that day in Cannon Falls and Northfield.
The Scott County charges were filed a couple months later, after the 12-year-old rape victim saw a picture of Wenner in a newspaper story about the other cases and alerted police.
According to the complaint, Wenner broke into the girl's home in New Market Township and pointed a gun at her head before sexually assaulting her. After he left, she climbed out a window and crawled through the woods to a neighbor's house so Wenner wouldn't spot her.
She later picked him out of a photo lineup, and police matched a sample of Wenner's DNA to crime-scene evidence.
Kevin Duchschere • 952-882-9017