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Man, 62, sentenced to 26 years in prison for assaulting woman in Belgrade church, faces federal indictment

MINNEAPOLIS -- The 62-year-old man sentenced to 26 years in prison for the sexual assault of a woman at the Crow River Lutheran Church now faces a federal indictment.

The United States Department of Justice announced Monday that an indictment was filed in federal court in Minneapolis against Lindon Roy Knutson. Knutson had been convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for the sexual assault of a 73-year-old woman in the church in November 2009.

The federal indictment charges Knutson with one count of failure to register as a sex offender and one count of commission of a crime of violence while not registered as a sex offender.

The indictment all-eges from that from Aug. 1, 2009, through Nov. 24, 2009, Knutson fa-iled to notify the state of Minnesota of his change of address, as required by law. Knutson's designation as a sex offender was based on a 1974 rape conviction in Wisconsin.

If convicted, the new charges could add years to the sentence Knutson is currently serving for his conviction in Kandiyohi County, according to information from the United States Attorney's Office in Minneapolis.

The federal charge of committing an act of violence while failing to register as a sex offender carries a potential maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for that crime and a mandatory minimum of five years -- which must be served in addition to any sentence imposed for being non-compliant with the registration requirements. If convicted in this case, Knutson also faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years for the separate charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

The possibility of a longer prison sentence could keep Knutson in the state penal system for the rest of his natural life. Officials had indicated that were Knutson to serve his 26-year prison sentence and be eligible for release, they would likely begin the civil process to commit him to the state sex offender program.

At his sentencing, Knutson apologized for the pain he caused his victim and said of his prison term: "I'm going home now. I won't have to worry about stuff on the outside.'' He had spent much of the previous 30 years in prison and mental institutions in Wisconsin.

When arrested for the Kandiyohi County crimes, it was reported that his last listed address was in Bemidji. The federal indictment alleges he had a St. Cloud address that had not been reported.

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