Guilty Plea for Rape Near Olmsted County Fair in 2012
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A convicted sex offender from Sparta, Wisconsin, who was connected to a sexual assault in Rochester by DNA evidence, has pleaded guilty in the case.
57-year-old Robert Viner entered a Norgaard plea to a 3rd degree criminal sexual conduct charge. The plea is used when a person admits they are guilty but cannot remember their actions because of alcohol or drug intoxication.
Viner was accused of raping a Rochester woman while she was walking home from her job at Seneca Foods while the Olmsted County Fair was taking place in July 2012. The victim told police she was grabbed from behind and dragged off the sidewalk onto a grassy area near the intersection of 16th Street and 3rd Avenue Southeast, where she was sexually assaulted and choked by her attacker. The criminal complaint states the rapist even told the woman, “Thank you sweetheart. I’ll see you again.”
Viner was arrested two years later after the DNA testing connected him to the rape, which occurred while he was in Rochester and staying in a camper at the fairgrounds. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 30th.