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Hibbing man charged with kidnapping, raping woman

The 43-year-old allegedly held the woman in his apartment with a door that requires a key to unlock from either side.

A courtroom gavel

DULUTH โ€” A Hibbing man is accused of raping a woman while holding her against her will for several hours last weekend.

Brett James Bozicevich, 43, was arraigned Tuesday in State District Court in Hibbing on charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, false imprisonment and interference with an emergency call.

According to a criminal complaint:

Brett James Bozicevich.jpg
Brett James Bozicevich

The woman, who was known to Bozicevich, went to his residence, 1801 Third Ave. E., at some point Saturday and he locked her inside, using a deadbolt that requires a key to open from either side. She later recalled to police that she was "feeling scared, helpless and exhausted" as Bozicevich threw cold water on her and yelled at her to prevent her from falling asleep.

The woman said Bozicevich raped her that night and continued to hold her against her will into Sunday. Shortly after noon, she was able to send a text message to a third party indicating she was being held by "Bucky," and a police officer was able to make contact with her directly.

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"Victim communicated that she was fearful, in need of assistance and that defendant was attempting to take her phone," the complaint states. "Seconds later, Officer (Jeff) Neumann heard a brief struggle followed by silence as the phone disconnected."

The woman later told police Bozicevich, suspecting she was speaking with police, took her phone and threw it into a wooded area. Neumann was able to catch up with the defendant's minivan, which was parked in the middle of Maple Hill Road, and he was placed under arrest.

The woman was "visibly upset, crying and fearful" as officers found her in the van. Bozicevich, who was located walking nearby, denied any sexual assault allegations in a statement to police.

Bozicevich has several prior convictions, including fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct and several counts of domestic violence, as well as receiving stolen property, fleeing police, drug possession and impaired driving.

Judge Bhupesh Pattni set Bozicevich's bail at $100,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 21.

Tom Olsen has covered crime and courts for the Duluth News Tribune since 2013. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Duluth and a lifelong resident of the city. Readers can contact Olsen at 218-723-5333 or tolsen@duluthnews.com.
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