MANKATO — A Vernon Center man’s trial is scheduled to go forward later this month even though the female who accused him of criminal sexual conduct has given conflicting statements to investigators.
Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Mike Hanson said he could be requesting more time to prepare his case against Jeremy Giefer, 37, after he reviews the alleged victim’s statement.
Giefer was charged with 24 counts of criminal sexual misconduct after the teen told investigators she had been assaulted numerous times over the past several years. The new statement, which was acquired by Giefer’s attorney, Mark Kelly, was recently provided to Hanson because Kelly plans to use it as evidence during the trial.
“The nature and content of the statement may make us ask for more time beyond the trial date,” Hanson said.
The alleged victim, who is now an adult, was 16 years old when she told a mandated reporter Giefer had been sexually abusing her since she was 9 years old. She described situations, dating back to when she was 13 years old, where she was coerced into sexual situations by Giefer.
A later statement that the same teen provided to Giefer’s attorney was discussed during a pre-trial hearing Monday. Kelly and Hanson didn’t discuss details, but Kelly did say the alleged victim recanted what she said when she was interviewed by Blue Earth County sheriff’s investigators.
The attorneys both said they didn’t know which statement the alleged victim will follow if called as a witness and required to testify under oath.
“I understand why (Hanson) is concerned about the statement,” Kelly said during Monday’s hearing. “It’s a recantation.”
If the woman’s testimony is consistent with the statement she provided to Kelly, the statements to deputies would lose credibility, Kelly said. He did not file a motion Monday to have the charges dismissed due to the new statement.
Kelly also told District Court Judge Bradley Walker that a jury should not hear about Giefer’s 1996 conviction for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was 19 years old. The new allegations against Giefer drew statewide attention because former Gov. Tim Pawlenty issued a pardon for Giefer’s 1996 conviction in 2008.
Giefer had requested a pardon for employment reasons, pointing out that he is now married to the victim from the 1996 incident.
Additional charges were filed against Giefer for allegedly violating a court order to have no contact with the alleged victim from the new charges filed in November 2010. Giefer posted a $250,000 bond for his release after the sexual misconduct charges were filed, then another $100,000 bond for his release after he was accused of violating the court order.