More charges against pardoned Minnesota man requested

MANKATO -- A dozen new felony charges have been requested for a Vernon Center, Minn., man accused of sexually assaulting a girl more than 250 times over several years.

MANKATO -- A dozen new felony charges have been requested for a Vernon Center, Minn., man accused of sexually assaulting a girl more than 250 times over several years.

Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Chris Rovney asked District Court Judge Bradley Walker to add the charges to a 12-count complaint that was filed last month against 36-year-old Jeremy Allen Giefer.

Giefer's case has drawn statewide attention because Gov. Tim Pawlenty joined in pardoning him two years ago in for a 1994 criminal sexual conduct conviction. The new charges could be used against Pawlenty in a possible presidential run.

During a hearing Monday, Rovney said the 12 new charges don't involve any additional victims, but "more adequately reflect" the allegations made by a teenage girl who told investigators Giefer has been sexually assaulting her since she was 9 years old.

Rovney also said he plans to pursue perjury charges against Giefer for using false income information on an application for a public defender. He has questioned Giefer's need for a court-appointed attorney since Giefer was able to post a $250,000 bond for his release from jail. Giefer has since been arrested and his bond was revoked for allegedly violating the conditions of his release by getting too close to the teen.


Robert Docherty, Giefer's attorney, said his client did not lie on his application for a public defender and shouldn't have had his bond revoked. Giefer owns a towing and repair business and believed he wouldn't have an income if he wasn't released from jail after his initial arrest, Docherty said.

Docherty also argued against Rovney's request that a DNA sample be taken from Giefer and made a request of his own to interview the teen who has accused Giefer of sexually assaulting her.

"She has stated to a couple people, so far, that nothing happened," Docherty said after Monday's hearing.

The girl is under the care of Blue Earth County Human Services and is living with foster parents. Docherty told Walker the county is not allowing him to ask the girl if she is willing to be interviewed. So he plans to request an order from Walker that would give her the opportunity to be interviewed.

Rovney said he would argue against that request. He said Giefer's family has made attempts to get the victim to recant what she has told investigators, which is part of the reason the girl is in the county's care.

Investigators want a sample of Giefer's DNA so it can be compared to evidence taken from places where the victim said she was recently sexually assaulted by him. The evidence was taken from Giefer's home, so Docherty wants investigators to describe what they will be comparing his client's DNA to before a sample is taken.

"It's his home," Docherty said. "Of course his DNA will be there."

Walker said he will likely grant Rovney's request for a DNA sample.


Pawlenty joined in pardoning Giefer two years ago in a 1994 criminal sexual conduct conviction. Giefer was 19 when he was charged in 1993 with having sex with his 14-year-old girlfriend, whom he later married. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail; he had served his time and was free when the pardon was granted. The other members of the three-person state pardons board that pardoned Giefer were Attorney General Lori Swanson, a Democrat, and Eric Magnuson, who was then chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Pawlenty has requested Giefer be investigated for perjury. Pawlenty said he was "very troubled" by the possibility that Giefer could have been "committing serious crimes while representing to the Board of Pardons that he was law-abiding."

Pawlenty and the Board of Pardons have drawn criticism for not thoroughly reviewing Giefer's case, however. Letters sent to the board by several people described him as a family man who had changed during the past 15 years. One of those letters was sent by Blue Earth County Commissioner Will Purvis, a former sheriff's deputy who lives near Vernon Center.

Court records show Giefer has had other legal problems since the 1994 case was closed. In 2003, he was charged with child abuse for bruising a 7-year-old boy by slapping him across the face. Giefer never denied slapping the boy, saying the child had repeatedly refused to go to bed. That charge was dismissed after Giefer completed a diversion program.

Giefer is also paying child support to a woman who became pregnant with his child during what she described as a two-year relationship that ended in early 2009. The woman requested an order for protection, saying Giefer continued to enter her house uninvited after they broke up. She accused him of exposing himself to her during unwanted visits, watching her house and "becoming threatening and hostile" when she was with other males.

The same woman was granted an order for protection against Giefer on Nov. 24, or about a week after Giefer was charged with sexually assaulting the second teen. That order was issued by Walker. The file was not available Monday.

Distributed by McClatchy Newspapers

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