Habitual sex offender charged in 73-year-old woman's church rape

Categories: Crime
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A 73-year-old woman says she gave Lindon Roy Knutson a tour of the Crow River Lutheran Church in northern Kandiyohi County last Tuesday before he beat her, raped her and stole her purse.

Now, Knutson, 61, has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first-degree aggravated robbery, third-degree assault and theft in the case. He's being held on $500,000 bail.

The West Central Tribune reported that Knutson has admitted to sexually assaulting at least 10 other victims in the past. He was released in 2008 from the Mendota Mental Health Institute in Madison, Wis.

More from the Tribune:

The man has a "non-stop" history of sexual assault and crimes dating back to 1974, according to Connie Crowell, the first assistant county attorney who is prosecuting the case. She cited information from Wisconsin officials during the court hearing, noting that "he is one of their most dangerous predatory offenders."

Knutson has served prison time in three states, but has been incarcerated or committed in Wisconsin for multiple sex crimes, including raping and attempting to kidnap women, Crowell said. Somehow, she said, Wisconsin officials released him from the Mendota mental facility earlier this year.

The woman survived the attack but was found beaten and bloodied by a passerby who took her to an area hospital for treatment.

Knutson, whose legal address is in Bemidji, but who told police he's spent the bulk of the past 30 years in Wisconsin, was arrested in Cosmos, Minn., the same day as the attack.

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