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Charges: Man Rapes Woman After Asking For Directions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 24-year-old Minneapolis man is accused of raping a woman last week after asking her for directions.

Ernest Frederick Wilkes is charged with one count of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of kidnapping, according to court documents filed in Hennepin County.

A criminal complaint says officers found Wilkes raping a woman in a car early last Tuesday morning. Callers alerted authorities to the area after hearing a woman's screams.

When officers approached Wilkes, they found him naked from the waist down. The victim was in his car with wounds on her face. She was crying and shouting, "He raped me! He raped me!," the complaint states.

The victim told police she was out for a walk that night when she saw Wilkes' car go around the block several times. He eventually stopped and got out of his car. Assuming he was lost, the victim asked if he needed help. She said Wilkes then told her he was trying to get to 29th and Franklin.

After the victim gave Wilkes directions, she turned around and continued walking. Wilkes then grabbed her throat from behind and began choking her, saying he had a gun.

The victim says she fought back against Wilkes as he forced her into his car. She said she scratched his arms and face and tried to kick the car's horn. Eventually, she fell unconscious.

The victim said she regained consciousness shortly before police arrived on the scene, the complaint states. She said she feared for her life and didn't think she was going to see her children again.

Authorities say Wilkes is a level one predatory offender with a long criminal history. He has two recent aggravated robbery convictions stemming from 2010 and he also failed to register as a predatory offender in Wadena County last January.

If convicted of both charges, Wilkes faces up to 50 years in prison.

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