Rape suspect Willis pleads innocent; trial date set for Jan. 3

Tim Sturrock

Bruce Edward Willis, 48, who was charged in July with sexually assaulting two women – one in south Minneapolis and one near the University – pleaded innocent Thursday in Hennepin County District Court.

According to the criminal complaint, on June 27 Willis entered a home on Girard Avenue and over a three-hour period tied up two women, a 40-year-old and a 43-year-old living there, and sexually assaulted one of them.

He also demanded cash, credit cards and their PIN numbers before driving off in the 40-year-old woman’s car.

On July 1 Willis also allegedly entered a 20-year-old woman’s home on Huron Boulevard Southeast through her window, tied her up, raped her and demanded cash.

He then drove off in her car.

Willis is charged with nine felony counts including kidnapping, robbery, burglary and sexual assault; he is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail at Hennepin County Jail. His trial is scheduled to start Jan. 3.

In other police news

ï University police gave 36 alcohol-related citations – 30 of them for minor consumption – from Sept. 11 to Sept 16. The week before, 80 overall citations were given, 55 of which were for minor consumption of alcohol.

Thursday through Saturday last week and the week before, a combination of five University police officers and state troopers patrolled the campus area as part of Operation NightCAP Junior, a program funded by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

The additional officers looked specifically for alcohol violations, although they had the option to merely inform students of the danger of alcohol use.

Official numbers that include citations by the State Patrol were not available Tuesday.

 

ï The Minneapolis bomb squad was called to Comstock Hall Monday at 11:05 after staff found suspicious-looking brown paper bags outside.

The bags were fitted together at both open ends, so their contents were not visible.

They contained only garbage, according to the police report.

 

Tim Sturrock covers courts and cops and encourages comments at
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