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Willmar man charged with sexually assaulting woman, holding her captive last year

Elmer Alfonso Menendez Vega, 50, of Willmar, is facing three felonies and two misdemeanors for allegedly assaulting a woman in October 2020.

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Elmer Alfonso Menendez Vega

WILLMAR — A Willmar man appeared Monday in Kandiyohi County District Court on multiple felony charges alleging he beat and sexually assaulted a woman in 2020.

Elmer Alfonso Menendez Vega, 50, is charged with felony third-degree criminal sex conduct — force or coercion, felony threats of violence, felony false imprisonment — intentional restraint and two misdemeanors for domestic assault.

Eighth Judicial District Judge Jennifer Fischer ordered Menendez Vega be held on $100,000 bail.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Menendez Vega was still listed in custody in the Kandiyohi County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, in October 2020, he is accused of biting a woman's lip and face, ripping her gums, and hitting her multiple times. In another incident a few days later, Menendez Vega is also accused of sexually assaulting her.

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The woman told law enforcement that Menendez Vega had threatened to kill her and did not report the first incident initially because she was scared of him.

During an Oct. 7, 2020, incident, Menendez Vega allegedly held the woman captive in her bedroom for over three hours, hitting her in the face approximately 10 times. He then allegedly sexually assaulted her after she told him she did not want to be in a relationship with him.

He eventually left her residence with her phone and keys but returned later to return them, according to the complaint.

Max Allen Keller, of Minneapolis, is listed as Menendez Vega's attorney and the next court date is set for Aug. 30.

Mark Wasson has been a public safety reporter with Post Bulletin since May 2022. Previously, he worked as a general assignment reporter in the southwest metro and as a public safety reporter in Willmar, Minn. Readers can reach Mark at mwasson@postbulletin.com.
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