Suspect charged in rape, burglary

Michelle Kibiger

One of four men charged in an Oct. 8 University-area rape and burglary incident appeared in a Hennepin County courtroom Tuesday morning.
Giezwa Andersen appeared before Judge David Duffy to hear new charges that have been added to those against him. Andersen was originally charged with aiding a burglary and receiving stolen property. On Friday, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Anne Taylor filed charges of aiding and abetting first-degree criminal sexual conduct against him.
On Oct. 8, three University students were awakened by several men in their apartment. Two of the women were raped, and the men stole property including stereo equipment and a car.
Andersen’s next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 6, when he will have a pretrial conference and a probable cause hearing. Probable cause hearings determine whether there is enough evidence to try a suspect. Pretrial conferences decide which issues will be tried and what evidence will be heard.
Andersen’s original hearing, set for Oct. 15, was delayed so his family could hire a private attorney. Keith Ellison, executive director and attorney at the Legal Rights Center in Minneapolis, represented Andersen at the hearing.
The Legal Rights Center is a non-profit organization that provides legal representation to low income people in criminal cases as an alternative to a public defender.
Ellison, who declined to comment on Andersen’s case, has represented clients in several high-profile cases in the past few years. He successfully defended Kieran Knutson in a controversial 1993 University assault case. He also represented Adrian Riley, who shot three people in May 1995 on a rural Carver County farm, and Sharif Willis, the Vice Lords gang leader convicted in 1995 of robbery and kidnapping.
Andersen is being held in lieu of $80,000 bail for his alleged participation in the break-in.
Andersen’s brother Puiassance, Antonio D. Burton and Victor M. Porter have also been charged in connection with the incident.