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Man sexually assaulted woman in Minneapolis City Hall bathroom, charges say

Minneapolis City Hall steps up security after alleged sexual assault
Minneapolis City Hall steps up security after alleged sexual assault 00:26

MINNEAPOLIS — A man with a lengthy criminal history is accused of sexually assaulting a woman inside Minneapolis City Hall earlier this week.

According to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office, 34-year-old Jeffery Thomas Fossum is charged with two felony counts of fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection to the assault reported on Monday.

The criminal complaint states Minneapolis police were dispatched to City Hall, located at 350 Fifth St. S., and met with the victim who said she was assaulted inside a bathroom.

The victim told police that she was washing her hands when she was approached from behind and grabbed inappropriately by the suspect, the complaint said. She said that when she began screaming, the man told her to be quiet and also attempted to block her from leaving the bathroom. She said she was able to push the man out of the way and exit into the hallway, the complaint said.

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The victim then reported what happened to witnesses nearby and police were called. By the time officers arrived, the suspect had left.

Surveillance video of the suspect, later identified as Fossum, was obtained by police, according to the charges. He was seen in the same area where the bathroom was located and matched the description the victim provided.

A mug shot of Fossum was taken last year in connection to a criminal sexual conduct case. Jail records show Fossum was released from custody on Dec. 18, 2023 Hennepin County Jail

Officers later located Fossum and took him into custody.

Fossom's prior criminal history includes fifth-degree criminal sexual conduct, threats of violence, damage to property, violating an order for protection and stalking. Jail records from Hennepin County show he was released from custody on the criminal sexual conduct charge in mid-December.

If convicted, Fossum could face up to seven years in prison.  

A city spokesperson says that additional security measures have been implemented at City Hall. 

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