Sexual assaults near U warrant 3-year sentence for local man

Nicole Vulcan

The masked man who admitted to groping more than 40 women around the University area will serve about three years in jail for his crimes. But the pain suffered by his victims will go on forever, said one victim in Hennepin County District Court on Wednesday.
Police arrested Dennis Tellander, 54, in December 1998 for criminal sexual conduct in the fourth degree. A victim accused Tellander of fondling her between the legs as she walked through Van Cleve Park.
Police suspected Tellander to be guilty of many more such crimes in the University area. Through meetings with officers in the Minneapolis sex crimes unit, Tellander admitted to more than 40 instances of groping and indecent exposure.
According to the terms of the plea agreement, Tellander will serve time for five of those offenses, totalling about 60 months in prison. Of those, he will serve about 32 months and will then be on parole for 10 years.
“We are pleased with the good police investigative work and the hard work of the prosecutors in our office to get some good prison time for someone who we considered a serial sex offender,” said Amy Klobuchar, Hennepin County Attorney.
But the victim, a young woman who was recognized only by her initials, spoke before Judge Isabel Gomez on Wednesday, asking the judge, “How can three years change this way of life?” The victim told the judge that Tellander had assaulted her in February 1998. Her story was similar to the one told by the victim whose incident led to the arrest of Tellander.
Tellander’s attorney, Paul Ahern, told Gomez that Tellander would be willing to pay restitution for the victim’s ensuing psychiatric treatment.
“Mr. Tellander was remorseful, cooperative and eager to straighten out his problems,” said Paul Ahern, Tellander’s attorney. “That’s not like a lot of my clients.”
He also told the judge that Tellander would be willing to release a psychological assessment, done by the Minneapolis psychiatric firm Seals & Associates, which outlined the details of Tellander’s problems. Ahern said that his problems probably stemmed from the torture he suffered as a child in a foster home.
Gomez suggested that reading this might ease some of the pain and guilt the victim was feeling in regard to the incident. Gomez added that no other sex offender had gone so far to release this information to their victims.
Tellander began serving his sentence Wednesday in the Hennepin County Adult Detention Center.