Scanlon man sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault, kidnapping – Cloquet Pine Journal
CARLTON — A Scanlon man was sentenced to life in prison for sexual assault and kidnapping after a jury found him guilty of the crimes last month.
Dennis Michael St. John Jr. received the sentence from Judge Rebekka Stumme on Monday, February 28.
Stumme said the verdict reached by the jury and the evidence presented at the trial was proof that the victim had been tortured and that St. John had control over her to hold her against her will.
“I hope that when you are in prison you can review your life and take on your role here,” she said.
During the trial in January, St. John’s defense attorney JD Schmid argued that the defendant and the victim had consensual sex, which was the cause of the injuries the victim suffered.
Some of the injuries included bruises on one side of his body.
The evidence, testimony from the victim and others, and the verdict proved that the injuries were not due to consensual rough sex, Stumme said.
“Honestly, you’re going to be locked up for the rest of your life,” she said.
St. John was sentenced to 98 months in prison for kidnapping and life in prison without the possibility of parole for first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The two sentences will be served concurrently.
Carlton County District Attorney Lauri Ketola also requested a $12,000 fine for St. John, which Stumme said was a minor issue for the court in light of the rest of the sentence.
Schmid argued that the fine was cruel and unfair because the defendant risked life in prison and qualified for a public defender due to his financial circumstances.
“Mr. St. John is going to jail for the rest of his life. It is virtually impossible to pay what is being asked,” Schmid said.
Stumme decided to make her own way when it came to the fine, raising it to $1,000 with an additional $85, as she had never seen that apply to someone going to prison for life. .
While she can’t ask St. John to apologize for what he was found guilty of, Stumme said he needs to make amends.
“The small amount of fines should go to the state and be used to help other victims of sexual assault,” she said.
Although he did not comment in court during the hearing, St. John gave a farewell statement to the prosecution after smacking his lips on his way out.
“I like getting a kiss when I get f——,” he said.
Ketola said defendants sometimes make comments as they leave a courtroom after a sentencing hearing.
“I want to thank the jury for looking at a really tough case and making the right decision,” she said. “They gave a fair verdict to make the community a little safer.”