MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Duluth man on parole for first-degree murder now faces kidnapping and criminal sexual conduct charges.
Dennis Hannuksela, 62, is accused of sexually assaulting a girl younger than 13 who considered him a “father figure,” according to a criminal complaint. He is charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one kidnapping count.
According to the complaint, the victim reported the assault at a hospital in Cloquet early Saturday morning.
She said she had known Hannuksela for several years, and they had arranged to meet up Friday night. He ended up picking her up sometime between 12:30 and 12:50 a.m. Saturday, the complaint states, telling her he needed to dispose of a couch before dropping her off with her friends.
The victim told investigators she and Hannuksela smoked marijuana on the way to the dump site, a logging road just north of Highway 53 and Swan Lake Road. After getting rid of the couch, the victim said he drove about halfway back to Highway 53 and stopped so they could smoke more marijuana.
At that point, the complaint states, Hannuksela “got a strange look and then lunged” at the victim. She ran, and Hannuksela allegedly caught and restrained her with zip ties.
The victim told investigators Hannuksela took her back to the car and sexually assaulted her.
After the alleged assault, Hannuksela began driving with the victim still restrained. According to the complaint, he said “it shouldn’t have happened that way” and told her he would buy her a car, get her nails done and put her on his life insurance. He then removed the zip ties and drove her home.
Deputies found Hannuksela in Duluth and took him in for questioning. He denied the assault, saying the victim “would report something like this to try to extort money from him,” the complaint states.
Authorities searched his vehicle and found zip ties and a pair of girl’s underwear.
Hannuksela is in custody.
According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Hannuksela was convicted of first-degree murder in 1989 and sentenced to life in prison. BCA records show he was released under supervision in 2017.
Source: CBS Minnesota