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Lakeside attack suspect arrested again, charged with sexual assault

Warren Holt Jr. is facing six new felonies after allegedly physically assaulting and threatening a woman to make her engage in sexual acts.

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DULUTH — A suspect out on bail for the assault and robbery of a Lakeside neighborhood man last summer is now accused of sexually assaulting a woman.

Warren Holt Jr., 29, was arraigned Wednesday in State District Court on six new felony charges following his arrest early Monday. A criminal complaint states that he physically assaulted the victim and threatened to kill her if she did not engage in sexual acts, which the woman told police had occurred on three occasions in recent months.

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Warren Holt Jr.

Holt was arrested last June after authorities said he went to a residence on the 6100 block of East Superior Street and attacked a 78-year-old man before stealing his truck. Holt allegedly struck that victim with a can, wrapped his arm around the man's neck and dragged him to the rear of a garage, where the victim was stabbed multiple times with an awl, a woodworking tool similar to an ice pick.

Holt has been free since posting a $150,000 bond shortly after his arraignment in that case. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.

According to the new charges, the victim called 911 to report that Holt had sexually assaulted her at a Duluth residence. She stated that he grabbed her by the neck and choked her to the point that she could not breathe for a few seconds.

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Warren Holt Jr. told the deputies who arrested him that he was taking the stolen vehicle for a test drive.

The victim told police that she was crying, yelling and kicking at Holt in an attempt to get him off of her, but he told the woman, "you're going to die tonight," if she didn't comply with his demands. The charges state that she complied before making an excuse to briefly get away from Holt and call 911.

The woman was punched in the stomach and sides during the incident and also had injuries noted on her neck, according to the complaint. The victim went on to tell police that it was the third time he had done something like that to her.

Holt, when approached by police, denied having done anything to the woman. But his father, who was present at the scene, told police that he woke up to yelling and had to separate the two before calling police himself.

Authorities said Holt has four prior convictions for acts of domestic abuse toward the same woman over the past five years.

A judge ruled that she had no basis to consider imposing additional conditions for Warren Holt Jr., despite an attorney's claim of public safety concerns.

He is charged in the case with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, stalking, threats of violence, domestic assault by strangulation and felony domestic assault. Judge Jill Eichenwald set his bail at $150,000 and ordered he have no contact with the victim.

Holt is charged in last summer's Lakeside case with four other felonies: aggravated first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree burglary and first-degree assault.

A judge previously upheld a challenge to DNA evidence collected in the case, but defense attorney Rebecca Shaw told the court at a Feb. 3 hearing that she was still awaiting other test results from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension before proceeding with the case.

Holt, who would face presumptive prison terms in both cases, is next scheduled to appear March 3.

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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