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Willmar, Minn., man facing charges for alleged assault

WILLMAR -- Aaron Bobby Phipps, 41, of Willmar, made his first court appearance Friday on three felony charges of criminal sex conduct and terroristic threats for allegedly assaulting a woman and threatening her life Thursday.

Unconditional bail was set at $250,000. His next appearance is July 9 in Kandiyohi County District Court. Phipps also faces a gross misdemeanor charge of fifth-degree assault, which is elevated from a misdemeanor because he has a prior assault conviction in Stearns County in 2011.

According to the complaint, Willmar police and CEE-VI Drug Task Force agents responded Thursday to the Viking Motel, along Business 71 North, on a report that a man was attempting to break into a motel room. Officers arrived to find Phipps outside of the building, attempting to leave in a vehicle. He was stopped from leaving and was later arrested.

A woman at the motel reported that Phipps had grabbed her by the throat, pushed her into furniture and had acted as if he was going to strangle her with a cord. He also made remarks about killing her and turning her into a prostitute.

The woman also reported that Phipps had sexually assaulted her. Another individual had witnessed the assault and had helped the woman escape from Phipps.

An officer attempted to interview Phipps, who said he was only at the motel to get his stuff and that he didn't know the woman. He accused the officer of making a racially motivated arrest and said he wanted a lawyer.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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