Burnsville man, 33, charged in photo shoot sex assault - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Burnsville man, 33, charged in photo shoot sex assault

Posted: Updated:
BURNSVILLE, Minn. (KMSP) -

UPDATE: This story has been updated to reflect that the suspect did not plead guilty in the prior matter as was previously reported, but was found guilty by the court and is appealing that decision.

Felony charges have been filed against a man accused of messaging a girl with a modeling offer on Facebook before allegedly drugging her and sexually assaulting her at a photo shoot.

Eric James Rutherford, 33, is facing one count of third-degree criminal sexual conduct relating to an incident in late February. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison and a maximum of $30,000 in fines.

According to charging documents, the incident occurred in the 600 block of Evergreen Drive after Rutherford arranged to have a "security guard" -- his brother -- pick up the victim.

CHARGES: RUTHERFORD MET VICTIM'S FAMILY

The victim told police Rutherford -- a total stranger -- contacted her via Facebook and told her she could become a model if she came to his home to take some photographs; however, she said she was cautious about the offer until Rutherford agreed to come to her home and meet her parents.

On Feb. 19, Rutherford met with the family and arrangements for a photo shoot were made -- including the arrangement to have Rutherford's brother pick up and transport the girl from her home in Minneapolis to the photo shoot in Burnsville.

VICTIM CLAIMS WATER DISCOLORED

At 9:30 p.m. on Feb 22, the "security guard" took the victim to a home where a family was present -- but all soon left, leaving her alone with Rutherford.

The victim told police that Rutherford tried to get her to drink alcohol or eat food, but she declined. Rutherford took some photographs and gave the victim a glass of water, but the victim says she began to feel dizzy and see stars after drinking it.

The victim told police that when she looked at the water, it was pink or orange in color and she sent a text to her father to say she was uncomfortable.

BATHROOM ASSAULT INCLUDED THREATS

According to the criminal complaint, the victim went into the bathroom to change after sending a text message to her father and was followed by Rutherford, who did entered without knocking while the victim was in her underwear.

Investigators say Rutherford put his hand in her underwear and touched her genitals three times in the bathroom even though the victim threatened to use mace on him if he didn't stop. Additionally, charging documents allege that Rutherford threatened to harm the victim and told her he did not need to take her home.

The victim was eventually returned to her home at 3:30 a.m., but a SANE exam did not occur because the victim showered before making a report.

Both the victim and her father identified Rutherford in a photo line-up, and police say her father told investigators that he did have an exchange with Rutherford where he apologized for touching the victim.

RUTHERFORD IS NOT IN CUSTODY

Although this case marks the second time that Rutherford has charged with sexual assault in two years, he is not in jail.

A year ago this month, Rutherford was convicted of fifth-degree sexual conduct -- a gross misdemeanor. He waived a jury trial in January 2013 in favor of a court trial and was found guilty. He is still on probation for that offense, for which he served 150 days in the workhouse. Rutherford reached out to Fox 9 and said he's currently in the process of appealing the case.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • IN CUSTODY: Officer shooting suspect Brian George Fitch Sr.

    IN CUSTODY: Officer shooting suspect Brian George Fitch Sr.

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:07 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:07:28 GMT
    Fox 9 News is learning more about the suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, 47, during a traffic stop, and it turns out he was already a wanted man when that traffic stop began.

    Fox 9 News is learning more about the suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Mendota Heights Police Officer Scott Patrick, 47, during a traffic stop, and it turns out he was already a wanted man when that traffic stop began.
  • SWAT team arrests suspected cop killer in St. Paul

    SWAT team arrests suspected cop killer in St. Paul

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-07-31 02:42:24 GMT
    On Wednesday night, dozens of officers -- including a SWAT team -- descended on Sycamore and Rice streets in St. Paul after a suspected cop killer apparently opened fire on officers and was shot multiple times.
    On Wednesday night, dozens of officers -- including a SWAT team -- descended on Sycamore and Rice streets in St. Paul after a suspected cop killer apparently opened fire on officers after escaping a neighborhood near the intersection of Baker and Livingston, where the car used in the crime was found.
  • Mendota Heights police officer shot in West St. Paul; suspect shot

    Mendota Heights police officer shot in West St. Paul; suspect shot

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:36 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:36:05 GMT

    A Mendota Heights police officer was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon during a traffic stop near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, Fox 9 sources confirmed. Police arrested the suspect later Wednesday night.


    A Mendota Heights police officer was shot and killed Wednesday afternoon during a traffic stop near Dodd Road and Smith Avenue in West St. Paul, Fox 9 sources confirmed. Police arrested the suspect later Wednesday night.


Widgets Magazine
Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices