Sarah Horner / St. Paul Pioneer Press
Ben Hoffman was visibly emotional as he told a room full of reporters Tuesday, May 14, why he finally decided to go public about abuse he and his brothers endured by a St. Paul priest years ago. With his brothers Stephen and Luke standing beside him, he said he hoped it will compel the Vatican to stop protecting priests accused of sexual misconduct and start telling the truth. The three brothers, joined by two more abuse survivors, filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Church in federal court in Minnesota on Tuesday.
A 25-year-old St. Paul man pleaded guilty Wednesday, May 8, to unintentionally killing his girlfriend’s 3-year-old son and causing life-threatening injuries to her 2-year-old daughter while punishing the children last winter. Alontae Butts entered the pleas to one count of second-degree murder and a second count of malicious punishment of a child in a Ramsey County district courtroom while the children’s mother cried in the gallery. The woman declined to comment after the hearing.
It’s a well-known law enforcement tactic. A police officer goes online pretending to be minor. An adult messages the undercover officer, assuming they are connecting with someone underage. The talk turns sexual and a meeting is arranged. Then, the adult shows up to find law enforcement instead of the minor and gets busted. Of the eight cases charged in Ramsey County alone since January, one came with a twist.
ST. PAUL — A former candidate for St. Paul City Council admitted to posting a topless photo of his wife online while he was running for the city’s Ward 4 seat. David Martinez, 39, made the admission in Ramsey County District Court Tuesday when he pleaded guilty to one count of non-consensual dissemination of private sexual images.
ST. PAUL — The last of four young men involved in the brutal rape of two teens on Harriet Island during the summer of 2017 received 32 years in prison for his role in the attack. Ramsey County District Judge Timothy Mulrooney on Friday sentenced Choncey Stewart, 18, on two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree criminal sexual conduct, two counts of kidnapping and four counts of first-degree aggravated robbery. The sentence was lower than the roughly 50 years prosecutors sought.
ST. PAUL — Talking about officer-involved shootings is not something Valerie Castile ever wanted to be doing. But more than two years after her son, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a routine traffic stop, that’s where she finds herself. “It’s only right that we treat people like human beings,” she said. “If they are doing something and they are stopped by the police, give them their day in court.”
ST. PAUL - A mathematics instructor at Century College turned himself in to law enforcement this week because he said he was having sexual thoughts about male children living across the street from him that he couldn’t control, authorities say. Marc Clifton Loken also reportedly threatened his wife’s life and told officers he was suicidal. Deputies subsequently placed the 66-year-old Shoreview man on a “health and welfare” hold and hospitalized him.
A 22-year-old St. Paul woman was brutally raped by a man she met on the online dating app Tinder shortly after he picked her up for their first date, authorities say. Ahmed Mohamoud Haji Ali Ismail, 23, was charged via warrant Thursday, Feb. 28, with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Ramsey County District Court. Police were notified when the woman showed up at Regions Hospital for a sexual assault examination early last June 11.
ROSEVILLE, Minn. — The husband of a Roseville day care provider who sexually assaulted children in their home will spend the next decade in prison. Edgar Noe Lopez-Monter was sentenced Friday in Ramsey County District Court to about 14 years in prison.
ST. PAUL — A postpartum-induced delusion that doctors were failing her ailing toddler compelled a Winona mother to try to make him sicker so medical staff would pay closer attention to his case, she told a judge Thursday, Feb. 21. That’s why Megan Lee Kafer periodically disconnected his feeding tube while he was hospitalized for about three weeks last July for “failure to thrive,” she said. And why she let him drink water from her water bottle without controlling how much he consumed.