St. Peter man faces four criminal sex charges

Plus prostitution charge

NICOLLET COUNTY — A 55-year-old St. Peter man was charged with four gross misdemeanor 5th-degree criminal sexual conduct charges, plus a misdemeanor prostitution charge, in Nicollet County June 20.

According to court documents, the Nicollet County Sheriff’s Office received a phone call from a woman who said she was sexually assaulted by her landlord, Mark M. Osborne, on May 25 in rural Nicollet County.

The woman said she moved into a basement apartment owned by Osborne in rural Nicollet County on May 8. She said throughout the day, he hugged her and grabbed her sexually over her clothing.

On May 11, she said he invited himself to her apartment and brought a bottle of wine, which she said she refused to drink with him. An hour later, she said he asked her to sit on a couch with him and when she did, he began touching her sexually over her clothing. The woman said she told him to leave the apartment and he did.

The next day, the woman said Osborne told her she needed a car, they went to look at a car selling for $700 but she said she didn’t want it. She said Osborne paid for the car and said the woman could work off the price of the car by working five hours a week at his farm.

The woman said Osborne later called her and said she could work off the cost of the car by spending one night a week with him and giving him oral sex, which she refused to do.

A Nicollet County Sheriff’s Investigator reviewed text messages provided by the woman in which she expressed to him that sexual favors were not part of the agreement to repay for the car.

On or about May 13, the woman said Osborne told her that she had to write her own lease. The woman said she didn’t feel comfortable being alone with Osborne, so she arranged for upstairs apartment residents to be with her when Osborne arrived.

The woman said Osborne refused to sign the lease in front of others and told her they needed to go to the basement apartment to sign it. She said Osborne grabbed her sexually multiple times in the basement, before agreeing to sign the lease.

The investigator interviewed the upstairs apartment dwellers who said they have lived there since May 2017. A woman said Osborne kept coming over to the apartment unannounced, would ask her for a hug and grab her sexually. The second woman said she did not give Osborne consent to do that.

In addition, the second woman said she had a conversation with Osborne before the first woman moved in the basement, in which he said he intended to rent out the basement apartment to a woman so he could try to receive oral sex in lieu of rent from her.

On or about May 25, the second woman told her boyfriend what Osborne did to her and he confronted Osborne about it. He said Osborne offered him two months free rent (about $2,800) in exchange for not telling Osborne’s wife or calling the police about the incident.

The investigator reviewed multiple audio files that included meetings between the two women and the man, Osborne and his wife. The audio files included apologies by Osborne to both women for inappropriate touching.

Osborne is summoned to appear in Nicollet County Court at 8:30 a.m. July 24.

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