MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 26-year-old Minneapolis man has been arrested for allegedly following two women off of a bus at separate times during the same night and sexually assaulting them, according to the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.
Stephen Lee Blanks faces two felony counts of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct and one felony count of kidnapping.
According to the criminal complaint, at 9:30 p.m. on Feb. 17, Blanks followed a woman off of a bus near the intersection of Chicago Avenue South and 32nd Street East and sexually assaulted her. She reported being grabbed from behind by a chokehold and being groped inappropriately. She told police she was able to escape when she slid out of her top and ran to a nearby home. Her keys and bus card were lost in the struggle.
Fifteen minutes later, another woman reported being sexually assaulted after exiting a bus. The alleged assault happened near the intersection of Chicago Avenue South and 35th Street East. She was also grabbed from behind by a chokehold and groped inappropriately. During the assault, the victim’s glasses were knocked off. She escaped when she asked if she could fix her glasses, the compliant said.
If convicted of all charges, Blanks faces a maximum sentence of 50 years in prison and/or a $75,000 fine.