Multiple Area Criminal Sex Charges 15 Feb 14

A 70-year old Sleepy Eye man is facing multiple counts of 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly raping an underage girl. Marvel Harder is accused of repeatedly engaging in various forms of sexual contact with the girl over the course of 3 years, starting she was around 10 years old. She told Brown County authorities that Harder would wrestle with her before lying on top of her and kissing her, but that would escalate into him eventually raping her. Harder reportedly turned himself in for questioning recently, and was ordered to undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation.


A former Sleepy Eye man in prison for possessing child pornography has been charged with multiple felonies in Brown County after authorities allegedly found more child pornography on his cell phone. A family member had reportedly been cleaning out the Sleepy Eye apartment of 44-year-old Dean Paul Wersal when the phone was found. Now Wersal will appear in court on the charges on February 20th. He was previously convicted of possessing child pornography while living in Sanborn when pornographic materials were found in a storage unit he had been renting, and was sentenced to 20 months in prison. That sentence was stayed until Wersal violated his probation for possessing an internet-capable device.


A 57-year-old Butterfield man is facing multiple counts of 2nd-degree criminal sexual conduct in Watonwan County Court after an 11-year old girl accused him of inappropriately touching her for several years.  Raul Montanez has also been charged with identity theft after the officers arresting him discovered a Minnesota driver’s license, a birth certificate and a Social Security card belonging to “Jose Luis Cano” on his person. He admitted to buying the ID’s and using them to get work. Montanez is scheduled to appear in court on the charges this coming Tuesday.


A Sherburn man has been charged with multiple counts of indecent exposure and stalking for incidents that occurred while he was living in Madelia last year. 34-year-old Jason Kennedy is accused of exposing himself to a female neighbor in October by allegedly dropping his sweatpants and fondling himself. He later claimed it was an accident. The woman told police that Kennedy also began stalking her daily after that incident by constantly texting her, watching her through his window and coming outside anytime she was outside. In another case, Kennedy was apparently at a woman’s home in La Salle last August when she found him with his genitals exposed. Kennedy moved to Sherburn in December. He also has prior convictions for domestic assault in Sherburne County and indecent exposure in Dakota County. He is scheduled to be in court for a pre-trial hearing on the latest charges on April 1st, with a trial then set to start on April 11th.