Sorenson facing travel restrictions

ST. PETER — A 57-year-old rural New Ulm man charged with a felony and gross misdemeanor stalking and a misdemeanor domestic abuse charge of violating an order for protection (OFP) July 28 was granted permission to travel out of state but must return home by 9 p.m. the same day, in Nicollet County District Court Tuesday.

At a Rule 8 hearing, Nicollet County District Court Judge Allison Krehbiel granted a request for Robert Sorenson to attend a two-day boat show in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., this year but he must return by 9 p.m. each night.

Nicollet County Attorney Michelle Zehnder Fischer earlier objected to Sorenson being able to travel out of state.

“There could be potential contact with minors and he may be a flight risk,” Zehnder Fischer said.

Krehbiel initially opposed Sorenson traveling out of state.

Mankato attorney Thomas K. Hagen, representing Sorenson, said his client is a long-term resident and has always kept in contact with him.

“I feel the argument is null and void. He (Sorenson) is a small-business owner having a tough time with his business,” Hagen said. “He does marine work. He wants to attend a wholesale boat show.”

Zehnder Fischer said her office has received many inquiries about Sorenson.

Krehbiel said she would allow Sorenson to travel to the boat show for two days but he can’t spend the night in Wisconsin.

“He must come back here by 9 p.m. each night,” Krehbiel said.

She said a domestic abuse no-contact order for Sorenson involving his wife Wendy Sorenson includes no phone, social media, computer monitoring or surveillance including any electronic means.

Robert Sorenson, 61436 CR 21, New Ulm, was arrested earlier this year for allegedly tracking his wife via an OnStar vehicle device, according to court documents.

In February, Wendy D. Sorenson obtained a year-long OFP against Robert Sorenson. On June 14, she told a Nicollet County Sheriff’s investigator she believed she was being electronically monitored via her vehicle’s OnStar system that allows subscribers to remotely view a vehicle’s location via its global positioning system (GPS).

Wendy Sorenson told the investigator she never activated the OnStar account and later learned that Robert Sorenson activated it last year. In addition, she contacted OnStar and learned that Robert Sorenson logged onto OnStar multiple times since Jan. 1, 2017.

The investigator obtained OnStar records that showed 479 login and locate activate entries from Jan. 1, 2017 to June 16, 2017. The first reported activity occurred Jan. 12, 2017 with only four entries before Feb. 17, 2017, the date Wendy Sorenson obtained her OFP.

A witness told Wendy Sorenson that Robert Sorenson was using OnStar to track her location. At that point, she began contacting OnStar to try to get her account information but had difficulty obtaining it because Robert Sorenson used his email and phone numbers on the account.

In addition, the investigator believed Robert Sorenson installed a “tile” device somewhere in Wendy Sorenson’s belongings and used it to continue monitoring her after their separation.

Robert Sorenson admitted to the investigator that he had OnStar on Wendy Sorenson’s vehicle.

A motion hearing in the case was set for 8:15 a.m., Nov. 1 in Nicollet County District Court.

Bob and Wendy Sorenson were charged in February with various charges involving the alleged molestation of a teenage girl.

Bob Sorenson was charged with five counts of felony first-degree criminal sexual conduct, five counts of second-degree felony criminal sexual conduct, felony interference with privacy against a minor and gross misdemeanor interference with privacy at a hotel, tan booth, or other place.

According to court documents, Robert Sorenson was charged with having sex with the girl and setting up a hidden camera to videotape another girl while she was undressed. He lived with both girls and had a significant relationship with them.

Wendy Sorenson was charged with three counts of child endangerment for allegedly knowing about the molestation and doing nothing to protect the girls.

A pre-trail hearing for Wendy Sorenson was set for 9 a.m. Oct. 30 in Nicollet County District Court.

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