Weather Forecast


Man who assaulted woman at Belgrade church faces more prison time

ST. PAUL -- Lindon Roy Knutson, 62, of St. Cloud, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Knutson, who was sentenced in May to 26 years in state prison for the sexual assault of a 73-year-old woman at Crow River Lutheran Church in Belgrade, faces up to 10 more years that could be added to his prison sentence. His sentencing date has not been set.

According to the state Department of Corrections, he is currently housed in the Sherburne County Jail.

In his plea agreement, Knutson admitted failing to update his sex offender registration from Aug. 1, 2009, through Nov. 24, 2009.

Knutson was required to register as a sex offender based on a 1974 rape conviction in Wisconsin.

In addition, Knutson admitted that while in "failure to register" status, he attacked and sexually assaulted the woman at the Belgrade church in November 2009.

The federal indictment against Knutson was handed down in August and charged him 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 possibility of a longer prison sentence could keep Knutson in the state penal system for the rest of his natural life. Officials indicated that were Knutson to serve his 26-year 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 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 alleged he had a St. Cloud address that had not been reported.

Tribune reporter Gretchen?Schlosser contributed to this report