Area man charged with several sex crimesA 39-year-old Hager City man who disappeared last year with his high school-age cousin is accused of sexually assaulting and secretly videotaping family members.
By: Jen Cullen, The Republican Eagle
A 39-year-old Hager City man who disappeared last year with his high school-age cousin is accused of sexually assaulting and secretly videotaping family members.
Wade Swenson was charged this week in Pierce County Circuit Court with multiple felonies - including second-degree sexual assault - in connection with the incidents.
Police started investigating Swenson in 2008 after one of the women he allegedly assaulted came forward with video evidence, according to the criminal complaint.
Swenson allegedly asked the woman to remove the videos and other items from his Hager City home, the complaint says.
She told authorities she watched the tapes because Swenson seemed intent on having them removed from the house and she was curious of the content.
Court records state the videos show Swenson having sexual intercourse on multiple occasions with two of the victims, one of whom was 15 at the time. Other video shows a third victim - who was babysitting his children at his house - naked in the bathtub.
The woman told authorities she did not know she was being videotaped.
Swenson was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault, four counts of making a visual representation of nudity, sexual assault of a child, sexual exploitation of a child, possession of child pornography and invasion of privacy.
If convicted on all charges, he faces a maximum of 237 years behind bars and a $650,000 fine.
His initial court appearance will be 2:30 p.m. Monday at the Pierce County Courthouse in Ellsworth.
According to the criminal complaint, Swenson was extradited from Florida and is being held in the Pierce County jail.
Swenson has a lengthy criminal history, according to Minnesota and Wisconsin court records.
Authorities in December 2008 searched more than a month for Swenson, who disappeared with his 17-year-old cousin.
The North Branch, Minn., girl - who worked at EconoFoods in Red Wing - returned home in January in good condition.
Swenson was not with her.