Sex assault charges filed against Superior man in Douglas, St. Louis counties

The charges stem from an incident that allegedly began in Hermantown and ended in Superior.

Douglas County, Wis., Courtroom
Douglas County Circuit Court, Superior, Wisconsin.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

SUPERIOR — A Superior man who allegedly battered, sexually assaulted and imprisoned a woman following a bowling date is facing criminal charges in Douglas County Circuit Court and State District Court in Duluth.

Dakota Daniel Thorstenson, 28, faces felony counts of second-degree sexual assault/sex organ injury and false imprisonment in Douglas County. He waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday, Sept. 7, one day after additional charges and a warrant were filed in Minnesota. A $25,000 cash bond was set for Thorstenson with the condition that he have no contact with the victim. He remained in custody at the Douglas County Jail Monday, Sept. 12.

Dakota Daniel Thorstenson.jpeg
Dakota Daniel Thorstenson
Contributed / Douglas County Jail

According to the Douglas County criminal complaint, the woman met Thorstenson through Facebook and about two weeks later they went bowling together in Hermantown on Aug. 10. After leaving the bowling alley, they got into a verbal argument. While driving, Thorstenson allegedly reached out with his left hand and started to choke the woman, according to the complaint. As he was choking her, the vehicle struck two stationary objects, one of which was most likely a fire hydrant. After the second crash, they stopped to get out and look at the damage.

While outside the vehicle, the woman reported that Thorstenson started to punch her in the face and to choke her again. She tried to crawl away, but he dragged her back. He forced her back into the vehicle, and her purse fell out. A citizen who turned the purse in to Duluth police said it was found near 2001 Anderson Road.

Minutes after the assault, Thorstenson allegedly forced the woman to have sex in the car with him, according to the complaint. The next thing she remembered was waking up in a bed at an apartment on the 1200 block of Faxon Street in Superior. The victim messaged her sister, who called 911. Superior police received the call at about 7:30 a.m. Aug. 11 and located Thorstenson and the victim in a room of the apartment.


The woman told officers that she asked to leave when the police arrived at the apartment, but Thorstenson told her not while the police were near. He locked the bedroom door and only allowed her to unlock it once officers threatened to kick the door in, according to the complaint. The woman described being fearful of leaving the residence alive, according to the criminal complaint.

The woman suffered numerous injuries, including a fractured clavicle and broken facial bones, according to emergency room records.

In addition to the Douglas County charges, Thorstenson has been charged with felony counts of kidnapping, first-degree sexual conduct and third-degree assault in St. Louis County. The criminal complaint, which lists a Duluth address for Thorstenson, was filed Sept. 6, along with a $200,000 cash bail recommendation from Assistant St. Louis County Attorney Michael Hagley.

“The brutal nature of this assault demonstrates a serious risk to public safety and to the safety of the victim,” he wrote.

Hagley listed past convictions for Thorstenson, which included three counts of burglary and one count of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

Thorstenson’s next Douglas County court appearance was set for Oct. 10.

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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